Derry City boss Kenny Shiels upbeat before Cork clash
Kenny Shiels and the Derry City players have something to prove already as they prepare to face Cork City at the Brandywell this evening.
Last week's 2-1 defeat to Finn Harps - the first league loss to their great rivals in 18 years - has put the Candystripes onto the back foot after one game. In a forgettable week at the Brandywell, the club have also admitted to losing Spanish midfielder Christian Delgado before even kicking a ball at the club.
The early season optimism amongst fans has taken a huge dent already as a result and that will only be repaired by a positive result against John Caulfield's Cork City this evening.
City go into this game as massive underdogs however, and Shiels is well aware of the pressure facing his side.
"We have to have some positivity from last week," he said.
"For the first 30 minutes I thought we played reasonably well but it dissipated after that. We've spoken a lot about it this week and the players are right up for it so all we need is a positive reaction now.
"We lifted it on Sunday and we've gotten a lot of hard work done this week so the players are ready. They are ready for a really tough encounter. All we can do is try to be our best and we keep saying that because we have to do that and it's up to me to make sure we have the right side on the park."
Cork City, many pundits' favourites for the league title this year, began their season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Bohemians at Turner's Cross last week and will come to the Brandywell with no fear, with three wins from their last four visits up North.
It is 10 games unbeaten in all competitions against Derry City and Shiels (pictured) acknowledged the strength of tonight's opponents.
"We have to give them that respect and work hard and make sure that we match them," he added.
"We have a lot of matching to do because they are strong, they're quick and they have a very good work ethic and they have all the credentials to be title winners never mind challengers.
"It's going to be difficult this season because of the intervention that is taking place and three months of the season will potentially be in a different arena.
"In the meantime we just have to look at each game on its merits and attack it head on and do our best to nullify our opponents, offer a good threat and look at our opponents' strengths, and Cork City have a lot."
One positive for Shiels is that he has a full squad of players to choose from for this evening's game.
Other fixtures: Bohemians v Sligo Rovers; Dundalk v Finn Harps; Galway v Bray Wanderers; Shamrock Rovers v Wexford Youths; Longford Town v St. Patrick's Athletic.