City of Derry open League Cup campaign away to Carrick
Richard McCarter's men finished their Ulster Qualifying Division One campaign in fine fashion and go into enter the four, group, four team format in confident mood. However, with only group winners progressing, the Derry coach admits there is no margin for error.
"We want to do as well as we can in this competition because we know if we don't top the group after these three matches then that's the season completely finished," explained McCarter, "There is no room for mistakes in the group because lose one match and you're playing catch up so it's a case of just concentrate on this week, try to tick that one off and then we'll worry about next week.
"Saturday is huge because in a competition with only three games to qualify, you have to get off to a good start. Ballymena IIs will be playing Ballynahinch IIs at the same time and while it will be early doors after one game, at least we'll have an idea of what we have to do over the remaining two. We'll know the lay of the land after Saturday but one slip up and you could find yourself out of it.
"It's very tight format with our last game against Ballynahinch at home. If things went well over the opening two it would set us up well for that one but we're heading into the unknown a bit which I don't mind because there's no danger of complacency.
"We've never played two of these teams before so we don't know anything about them which also means Saturday is even more important. We have to win it and then we'll see where we are at after it."
Derry will go into Saturday game against a side they having won one and lost one against this season minus a number of forwards and Simon Logue and Killene Thornton from the backs.
"We know this is going to be a tough game but it is also a very winnable one," added McCarter, "We obviously want to draw a line under the league now and treat this cup for what it is, a fresh tournament.
"Most people would probably see us a slight favourites but most games at this level are the same, if you don't play well the opposition have the tools to punish you. We have to be good from start to finish because even know though we finished the season really well, we still had those sloppy moments before we got going properly.
"We would like a good, solid 80 minute performance on Saturday and if we can do that then I think we can win the game."