Belfast Telegraph

Derry City boss Stephen Kenny making case for the defence

By Colin Speer

Derry City manager Stephen Kenny wants his players to get back to basics and start keeping clean sheets, starting with the visit of lowly Mervue United to the Brandywell tonight.

The Candystripes have only recorded three shut-outs in their last 13 games and the Dubliner wants that figure to improve.

“We have conceded a couple of soft goals in recent weeks and we need to tighten up defensively,” insisted Kenny.

Having led the Airtricity First Division for most of the season Derry now find themselves in second spot behind new leaders Monaghan United.

However, the Brandywell men know that six wins from their remaining games will ensure them the title.

“I haven’t set the players any targets, but I want to win every game now starting with Mervue,” he insisted.

“Our room for error is less and less and we have to try and win every game, but the players have been brilliant all season and hopefully they can get a victory.”

The teams have met twice already in the league this season, with Derry picking up maximum points from both encounters, but Kenny is expecting a tough game this evening.

“I think Mervue will make it difficult for us, they’ll try and frustrate us,” he said.

“Teams from Galway have taken points off the likes of Limerick and Waterford, so it’s important that we maximise our points.”

Now that City have dropped into second spot, fans may feel the pressure is now all on Monaghan, but Kenny doesn’t believe that.

“I don’t think that comes into it really, I just think it’s all about the individual matches which you have to win and hopefully we can do that, starting with Mervue,” he added.

On the injury front Barry Molloy is struggling with a calf problem but despite not training for most of the week is expected to play, while Gerard Doherty, who missed last week’s score-draw at Longford Town, returns from suspension.

However, midfield trio Kevin Deery, Ruairi Harkin and Thomas McBride are all still missing.

The Candystripes supremo also confirmed that Doherty has been given an extra one match suspension and his first choice keeper will miss the clash against old rivals, Shelbourne.

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