Ruaidhri Higgins demands a reaction from his Derry City players as Shelbourne visit

​Derry City boss Ruaidhrí Higgins wants to see a positive reaction from his players when Shelbourne visit Brandywell tonight.
Derry City midfielder Sadou Diallo is suspended for the visit of Shelbourne. Photo by Kevin Moore.Derry City midfielder Sadou Diallo is suspended for the visit of Shelbourne. Photo by Kevin Moore.
Derry City midfielder Sadou Diallo is suspended for the visit of Shelbourne. Photo by Kevin Moore.

​Higgins cut a frustrated figure following last Saturday night's disappointing 1-0 loss at Sligo Rovers.

"There has been a lot of honesty this week," he stated. "We work so hard to get ourselves into that position and when you take your eye off the ball and you don't start games the way that you should, with the intensity that you should then it's really hard to claw it back and against any opposition in this league it can be an uphill task.

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"If you give a team something to hang onto then it's always tough in this league. Apart from the opening 15 or 20 minutes of the second half, we didn't show the intensity required and the intensity that we had shown in the previous month or so and we want to see that coming back.

"We want people on the pitch on Friday night who have a real desire and fight to put three points on the board."

Higgins, who worked alongside Shels boss Damien Duff during their time with Stephen Kenny's Republic of Ireland back-room team, believes the Dubliners have a lot of talented players and possibly don't get the credit they deserve.

"By saying that they're really well organised is not a criticism, it's something I'm sure they're very proud of," he added.

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"Their defensive record is very good, but they've also got really good individual talent. Players like (Jack) Moylan, Shane Farrell, Matty Smith, Evan Caffrey and Sean Boyd and those lads at the top end of the pitch can cause you loads of problems.

"They're not just a well organised team, they've got attacking intent as well and they can hurt you, as they've got a wee bit of magic in their front areas that can do damage."

Derry go into this evening's game without midfielder Sadou Diallo through suspension, but Higgins believes his squad is in a really good position.

"We're in good shape apart from (Sadou) Diallo suspended," he confirmed. "Our squad is in good shape and the timing is good as we're coming into the second half of the season, the business end of the season and to have all your key players, your leaders available is brilliant for the group, brilliant for me and the coaching staff. Yes it will give us a lot of headaches but they're welcomed headaches.

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The 38-year-old admitted he's still learning on the job and conceded that he probably could have done something to get a different result from last week's defeat at Sligo Rovers.

"There's no doubt about it I could have done something differently, but I'm a young manager and I'm only a couple of years in the game, just over two years in fact," he added. "So look I'm going to make mistakes, get things wrong, whether that be tactically, whether it be a better choice of team or whether it be players in or players out, I'm going to get things wrong.

"I'm learning on the job and I've never claimed that I know everything and I'll never know everything, that's just the nature of the game as it changes all the time, but what I can say is that every decision I make and what I feel at that time is the best interests for the club and I'll continue to do that.

"I'll improve as I go, but we're at the half-way point and we're top of the league, so there is a lot to be positive about and I know we’ll improve."