Ruaidhrí Higgins blasts 'unacceptable' Derry City display after 'rotten night' at Brandywell

RUAIDHRÍ Higgins slammed his team's 'unacceptable' performance on a 'rotten night' for the Brandywell club on Good Friday when they fell to a shock first home defeat of the season against Galway United.
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Substitute Stephen Walsh netted a brilliant solo goal on 85 minutes to stun the Brandywell attendance as the Tribesmen recorded a first victory on Foyleside since a 2-0 win back in May 2015.

Derry failed to register a single shot on target throughout an alarming 90 minutes of football for a team with aspirations to win the title as they slipped EIGHT points behind Damien Duff's high flying Reds ahead of Monday night’s meeting at Tolka Park.

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"It's an unacceptable performance," blasted Higgins. "There's no point in saying anything different. Of course we're missing players but the quality we had on the pitch was definitely good enough to win the game. We just never got going.

"It's my job as manager, I accept responsibility, I put the players on the pitch. There was a bit of everything lacking tonight. Our play was too slow with no purpose to it and pedestrian. And when you let a team like that sit behind the ball and keep their shape it becomes a frustrating night and it was certainly that.

"You look at the Bohemians game the last day. We lost the game but there was a purpose to our play and we created some very good opportunities.

Our opportunities tonight were from set plays only. A really poor display from us and it's not acceptable for a club of this size.

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"It's a rotten night. It's hard to pinpoint and put your finger on it but it's unacceptable when you play for this football club. The way the club is built now, it's unacceptable.

Ronan Boyce battles for possession against Galway. Photo by Kevin Moore.Ronan Boyce battles for possession against Galway. Photo by Kevin Moore.
Ronan Boyce battles for possession against Galway. Photo by Kevin Moore.

"We're a big football club and have to demand more from ourselves. Every game we play we have to do more to win. We started the season quite well and we've had a couple of poor results now so we need men. We need to stand up and we have a responsibility to this football club to produce better than we did tonight, that's for sure."

The full-time whistle was met by a chorus of boos from the disgruntled home support and Higgins conceded they were 'well within their rights' to voice their frustrations.

"Absolutely. They're well within their rights. When you perform the way we did tonight, that's to be expected. As a manager, when you go into management of a football club, you know you will have moments when it's difficult. That's part and parcel of the gig. I will do everything I can to make sure they don't see another performance like that again."

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It was Galway's first win in four attempts and the three points took them to within a single point of Derry in fourth place after seven matches as they prepare to host Bohemians on Monday.

John Caulfield was delighted with the result and admitted he didn't expect Derry to be as toothless in front of goal as they were on the night.

"Last week against Rovers we conceded with five minutes to go so to get the winner tonight with five minutes to go we're obviously delighted to be going home with the three points.

"You know coming up here Derry is challenging for the title and we understand that. We know a lot of the time we won't have the ball but we defended really well and the pleasing thing for us is we felt Derry didn't really get behind us and create a lot of chances which is unusual because they have so many brilliant attacking players.

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"Never in my life has coming up to the Brwandywell been easy, whether Derry were top or bottom or mid table. It's always a fantastic venue and they have fantastic support. It's a brilliant club and Philip O'Doherty deserves massive credit for how he's driven the club on and Ruaidhrí.

"Maybe they felt they would totally dominate the game but it didn't pan out that way. You could see early on they were struggling to break us down. Thankfully for us we worked so hard.

"To be fair to Derry, when a team sits in against you like that it's hard to break them down. It can be easier for the away team to sit in but we're happy with the three points."

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