Ruaidhri Higgins stresses it's 'quality over quantity' at Derry City as he looks to complete jigsaw

​RUAIDHRI Higgins stresses he will be prioritising 'quality over quantity' when it comes to Derry City's transfer business as the Brandywell boss closes in on the final 'one or two' pieces of the jigsaw.
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​The club's transfer strategy has changed pace in recent years and the days of bulk-buying players or throwing vast sums at an array of potential targets are consigned to the past.

Higgins has built a 'really strong squad' and it's now a case of trying to cherry-pick players who can make an immediate impact and bolster Derry's bid to wrestle the league title from Shamrock Rovers next year.

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"The last couple of close seasons have been six, seven, eight signings but that's not going to be the case this year," insisted the City supremo.

"We're in a good position and we've built a really good squad. We don't need much. We think there's one or two pieces of the jigsaw missing and we hope to fill that."

With rivals St Patrick's Athletic busy in the market this week with the addition of two former Derry players Brandon Kavanagh (undisclosed fee) and Cian Kavanagh (free agent) and Ruairi Keating from Cork City, Candy Stripes' fans have been growing restless on social media.

However, City boss Higgins is calmness personified when it comes to his transfer business and he's confident he will recruit what's required to take the club to the next level.

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He's already added one of the top wingers in the League of Ireland with minimal fuss when signing league title winner Daniel Kelly and re-signed Sadou Diallo, Ciaron Harkin and Ciaran Coll.

Derry City manager Ruaidhrí Higgins is confident he will get his top targets.Derry City manager Ruaidhrí Higgins is confident he will get his top targets.
Derry City manager Ruaidhrí Higgins is confident he will get his top targets.

With a proven goalscorer next on the list of new recruits it will be a case of bringing in two attacking players and letting three (Evan McLaughlin and the two Kavanaghs) exit the Brandywell gates, although it's understood Higgins was reluctant to allow Brandon Kavanagh to leave for Inchicore.

Dundalk striker Pat Hoban is believed to be top of Higgins’ priority list while Waterford's Player of the Month for November, Ronan Coughlan could also be available.

His record-breaking 37 goal haul in the First Division last term will have no doubt perked interest from several top flight clubs as well as English suitors.

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Higgins had previously made tentative enquiries about Keating’s availability and his move to Richmond Park could potentially hasten the process of moving for another top rated number nine who are few and far between on these shores.

However the Derry manager continues to play his cards close to his chest when it comes to naming transfer targets but a striker remains high on his agenda.

He states there's no further incomings imminent and has urged fans to remain patient as he continues to work hard behind the scenes.

"I've come out and said already we will sign three players maximum. We've done a lot of our work over the last three transfer windows so we don't need loads.

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"I know everyone wants to get excited and people get bored this time of the year because there's no matches and they want to see signings but that's not going to be the case.

"We have a brilliant squad here. We want to keep your players fit and want to add another one, possibly two to the group. We feel if we can do that then it gives us a real chance and continuity is better than wholesale changes for me.

"Maybe we're just one or two pieces of the jigsaw away from where I really want us to be. With a bit of patience we'll get there."There's nothing imminent at all and it will take as long as it takes. Patience is key with these things.

"Brandon has moved on and Daniel Kelly has come in. Cian has moved on and we'll find a centre forward at some stage. Our numbers are fine.

"We just need one or two quality players to add to what's a really exciting group already."