Shelbourne's Damien Duff expecting FAI Cup Final to be another tight affair

Shelbourne manager Damien Duff expects next month’s FAI Cup Final against Derry City to be another close encounter.
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The Shels boss, who watched his side secure a 1-1 draw at the Brandywell on Friday night, believes that the Aviva showdown is likely to be a tight affair again.

In their previous four games this season, City have won twice, the Dubliners collected three points at the Brandywell and their final game finished all square.

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In fact, all of the victories for either team just one goal separated the sides and because of that the ex-Republic of Ireland international feels it could be more of the same, in a few weeks time.

"They've all been close, you'd have to say they've all been tight games, so I'd imagine it will be a tight game again,” he insisted.

"It's a special day for everyone, not just for Derry and Shelbourne, but for everyone involved in the League of Ireland and Irish football.

"It's the showpiece, it's at our national stadium, they'll be a massive crowd and it would be a beautiful cup to go and win.

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"As I have already said before it doesn't get any better, it's a showpiece and it's a spectacle and everyone is looking forward to it, like I said not only the two sets of fans.”

Derry City's Patrick McEleney skips away from Shelbourne duo Gavin Molloy and Mark Coyle.Derry City's Patrick McEleney skips away from Shelbourne duo Gavin Molloy and Mark Coyle.
Derry City's Patrick McEleney skips away from Shelbourne duo Gavin Molloy and Mark Coyle.
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The 43-year-old, who took over at Tolka Park this season, has been pleased by his team’s efforts this season and admitted he was a little disappointed that the Dubliners only secured a point on Friday night, because Joe Thomson’s equaliser came late-on.

"The boys have been on point for nearly two or three months now and we've obviously worked at a high intensity and high standards for a long time and it looks like everything has clicked, you could say,” he added.

"No, our eyes weren’t on the cup final tonight or trying to be clever with line-ups or who was playing or formations, it was just about coming to win the game and likewise next Friday and then the following Sunday against St Pat's and we'll deal with the cup final whenever it comes.

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"Listen, I can't fault them for quite a while now, so we just have to keep going.

"Yeah you could say it's a good point on paper, but when you're up with so little time to go, I guess it's a tad disappointing.”

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