Ruaidhri Higgins wants more of the same from his in-form Derry City
RUAIDHRI Higgins has called on his Derry City team to take the same fearless approach into tonight’s clash with Longford Town as they did in Monday night’s scintillating clash with Bohemians at Dalymount.
The City supremo is taking nothing for granted against the league’s bottom club and has warned they could get ‘turned over’ if they disrespect their opponents.
However, he’s confident that if they reproduce the intensity and quality that they displayed in Dublin against the dogged midlanders tonight, they can clinch three vitally important points in the race for European football.
"Shamrock Rovers are champions and are top of the league again and probably going to be champions again,” he began. “And the three games between Shamrock Rovers and Longford, if you’re going into the 93rd minute in all of them level pegging, Rovers went on to win all three but they’ve gone to the 93rd minute in all three games not losing.
“That shows they are a very capable team and they do not throw the towel in in any game. It just showed their commitment against Dundalk a couple of weeks ago, they dug in with nine men and picked up three points. We can’t show any arrogance or disrespect whatsoever because we’ve done nothing as a team yet,” he insisted.
“They will turn us over if we approach the game like that. There hasn’t been many games this season where they’ve been put to the sword or completely outplayed. They nearly beat us in the Brandywell earlier in the season. We were decent that day but still they nearly beat us and there wasn’t an awful lot in the game down in Longford when we won 2-0.”
”We’ve taken four points each out of the nine available to us so we’ve no right to think this is going to be an easy game because it’s not. I also believe if we approach it in the right manner and play with a high intensity, then we can win it but only if we do the right things.
“I think we looked a threat every time we got into the final third of the pitch and we have real good attacking players who have pace, power and quality. We need to play on the front foot and be brave. What the players are giving for this club at the minute is brilliant, they’re leaving everything out on the pitch. I just ask for more of the same.”
Higgins faces a real selection headache with the return of Cameron McJannet and Danny Lafferty following their respective one match suspensions. It would take a brave man to tinker with the team which came so close to victory on Monday night but Higgins insists he’s not afraid to make key decisions as they attempt to stretch their six game unbeaten league run.
“That’s football management, you have to make decisions. You’re not always going to be popular with people when you make decisions but that’s what I’m paid to do and I have to do it. I’ll pick whatever team I feel is the best team to win this game and the team I play on Friday might be completely different to the team I play in Tallaght the following week. That’s what I have to do and that’s what I’ll be judged on.”
“With the biggest attendance of the season expected at Brandywell tonight, Higgins can’t wait to soak up the atmosphere and called on the fans to make their presence felt.
“I think the players are enjoying their football and playing in the Brandywell with a crowd is like playing in a different place. It’s a proper home game with our home supporters behind us.
Our home form has improved since our supporters were allowed back and our performances and results have improved since they’ve come back in. I urge them to make plenty of noise and get behind this team because this team is giving everything.”