Belfast Telegraph

Derry City v Dundalk: Kenny Shiels backs Candystripes to upset Lilywhites again

By Eoin Wilson

Derry City will hope to shock Dundalk for the second time in 72 hours to reach this season's FAI Cup final.

The Candystripes looked to be on their way out of the competition as they trailed 2-0 at half time in Sunday's game at Oriel Park - but second half goals from Rory Patterson and Ronan Curtis salvaged a draw to earn tonight's replay at the Brandywell.

The addition to the schedule is a huge headache for Dundalk and manager Stephen Kenny, who are currently fighting on three fronts, including the Europa League.

"It's a tough task trying to go every few days," Kenny admitted.

"We're quite level headed about it. We're still in the cup and it's better than being out of it. We've to go to Derry but we've won in Derry this season and playing away from home doesn't hamper us. We just have to get the balance right and manage injuries which is inevitable."

Meanwhile, Kenny Shiels was delighted with his team's efforts on Sunday and insists Derry - whose captain Ryan McBride could be in contention to start after playing an hour on Sunday, while fellow defender Max Karner should have recovered from illness - deserve more credit.

City are just one victory from their third FAI Cup final in five years and Shiels believes his team have the capacity to achieve that goal.

"This is 11 games now, and eight of them have been away, and we have lost only once," he said. "The form has been fantastic and we have the capacity to get through this. Psychologically, coming back from two goals might labour with Dundalk a bit because they will be thinking they had it in the bag. They will be asking 'Why didn't we close it out?

"But I'm really thrilled. The determination and the character of the players at half time was key. We spoke about it at half time and we weren't happy with the goals we gave away.

"We broke the second half into two and I told the players to be patient because we are as good as them and the goals came."

Belfast Telegraph


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