Sligo stalemate a sign of how far Derry City has come: Declan Devine
DECLAN DEVINE believes the fact he's disappointed with a scoreless draw in Sligo is a sign of how far Derry City has come this season.
The Candy Stripes were held to a third consecutive draw by the in-form Bit O'Red and Devine felt the teams could've played for a further two hours and still wouldn't have found a breakthrough.
Goalkeepers, Peter Cherrie and Ed McGinty both produced crucial saves in the second half to keep the match scoreless and while Devine felt his side were 'wasteful', the City boss reckoned the point could be seen as a positive one going into Tuesday night's trip to play St Pat's at Richmond Park.
"I'm disappointed now but when I look back at the game I might actually be relieved," he said. "We're not in the process of celebrating draws at this football club but it also shows you where we're coming from whenever we're coming away to Sligo and home to St Pat's and away to Dundalk and we're drawing games.
"We're disappointed we didn't win tonight but that's down to ourselves. We didn't really create as many opportunities we have normally done in games and we didn't dominate the ball as much as we normally do in games.
"It shows you how far we've come in such a short period of time. But in the grand scheme of things the players have given everything, They've had to dig deep tonight."
Derry are unbeaten in eight consecutive away fixtures, scoring 13 times but they couldn't find a way past the Sligo stopper. It was a scrappy display with both sides lacking quality in the final third but Devine isn't getting overly concerned.
"I thought we were wasteful and didn't hold the ball the way we normally do but that's just because the bar is set high and that shows you where we are in terms of being disappointed coming away from home, keeping a clean sheet and getting a 0-0 draw.
"Up until last night we were the top goalscorers away from home and that's why we're frustrated tonight we weren't able to muster up too many opportunities.
"We had one clear-cut opportunity but it wasn't to be but then they had two or three chances as well where Peter (Cherrie) was sensational. Our two centre backs really dealt with the aerial threats of (Ronan) Coughlan and (Romeo) Parkes and full credit to them for that.
"But I think on another night when we're really at it this is game we might reflect on and say it could've been three points."
Given Bohemians were held to a draw by St Pat's at Richmond Park, Derry were unable to close in on the league third placed team but Devine is pleased with where his team are currently sitting in the table.
"If you had of offered me a choice to be where we are now at the start of the season I think every supporter with a realistic aim would've taken their hand off for that. I'm disappointed tonight because I know as a team and a squad there's more in us. I will look and reflect on it and leading into Tuesday it might be a good point.
"We were very dogged. They changed their formation at the start of the second half and went out with a 4-4-2 diamond which meant they had an extra man in midfield. It wasn't that they were playing through us it was that they were playing long and picking up second balls which was creating the problem for us.
"I felt we weathered that storm quite well but we could've been sitting here another two hours and I don't think there would've been a goal in the game the way both teams were going about their job."