Belfast Telegraph

Kenny Shiels rallies Derry City for Bray Wanderers battle

By Eoin Wilson

Kenny Shiels believes that victory for Derry City at Bray Wanderers tonight would give his team a significant psychological boost for the season ahead.

The first week of the new season has proven to be a rollercoaster ride already for the Candystripes with the misery of defeat to Finn Harps quickly followed by the ecstasy of a rare win over title-challengers Cork City.

A second victory in four days would give Shiels and his players a return of six points from three games and after a year fighting relegation, the City boss insists that return could prove vital.

"It's a pivotal game for us. People don't realise how pivotal this game is because if we can win the game it puts us into the top half and that's where I want us to be," said Shiels.

"I want us to have the impetus to see which part of the league we are going to be performing in, so if we can get into the top half then psychologically we are going to think that we are in the same league behind the big four.

"There will be a league of four teams behind the big four and then there will be a bottom four fighting it out and I want to get into that middle tier of four and give us the impetus to drive on from there."

City are certainly favourites going into tonight's game, with the hosts suffering two defeats from two so far, including a 4-0 demolition at the hands of Galway United on Friday night, but Shiels believes that the results so far have been unfortunate on Mick Cooke's team.

"It's going to be a tough game for us, they were unfortunate in their last game," he explained.

"They lost four players in the game because of injury and the fourth injury was in the 63rd minute, so they had 30 minutes to play with ten men. They were key players that they lost in Conor Kenna and Dean Kelly their striker so it was difficult for them.

"They will be going in with a lot of determination and we are going in having beat Cork, so it's important that we don't step off psychologically. We have spoken about that and we don't want to be going in with the attitude of 'we have beat Cork, we are some team'. We can't be off that mind-set," he said.

"I saw Bray a few weeks ago against Dundalk and they gave them a game. They are a close-knit unit who are no mugs on their own pitch."

Belfast Telegraph


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