Derry City manager Roddy Collins bewildered by Rory Patterson uproar
Roddy Collins is prepared to take a huge risk by leaving Rory Patterson on the sidelines, despite Derry City's lack of goals this season.
Patterson, who was the League of Ireland's top scorer last season with 24 goals in all competitions, has been left out of games against Shamrock Rovers, Dundalk and Limerick already this season, with boss Collins opting for young striker Enda Curran.
The pressure is building on Derry due to their lack of attacking threat, especially in their last two games – 0-0 draws against Bray Wanderers and Limerick. Aside from three goals scored in their recent win over Athlone, City have managed just three goals in eight other league games.
Patterson himself has managed just one goal this season, against Athlone, and despite having a record of six goals in eight games against tonight's opponents, Collins is sticking to his first choice of Curran.
"I can't figure out why everyone seems to be up in arms about leaving Rory out," he said. "Rory has got one goal this season. We haven't been creating chances and Rory's job is finishing so until we get it down and start creating a lot more chances, then we can look at putting someone in who can finish them.
"There's other parts of the game that need to be done and we'll get people to do that. Enda Curran is just starting out but he has more goals than Rory and his work rate is 100 times more efficient and he's developing."
A 'Collins Out' banner was unfurled by one particularly irate fan following the conclusion of Monday's draw with Limerick, and with City already nine points behind leaders Cork City, victory against UCD tonight is essential.
The students have won on their last two visits to the Brandywell however and Collins is expecting another difficult encounter.
"Aaron Callaghan will have his side well organised," he said. "They're on a bad run but that doesn't matter. We've no divine right to roll any team over. We will be tight at the back and we'll work on our forward play.
"We've played nine and only lost one, deservedly against Dundalk. We're not creating 10 chances a game, but we've got it right at one end and we'll move on and work on the other end."
Other fixtures: Bray Wanderers v Dundalk, Cork City v Bohemians, Drogheda United v Shamrock Rovers, Limerick v Sligo Rovers, St. Patrick's Athletic v Athlone Town.