Belfast Telegraph

Morrow, McCourt missing for City

Eircom League

By Colin Speer

Derry City duo Sammy Morrow and Paddy McCourt miss this evening's clash with St Patrick's Athletic, at the Brandywell.

Both players injured themselves during last week's scoreless draw at Sligo Rovers, but boss John Robertson is hopeful that ex-Hibs striker Morrow won't be out of action too long.

The former Northern Ireland under-21 frontman received three stitches, following a challenge by Sligo's Danny Ventre, but should return sooner rather than later.

"Sammy's definitely out, there's no doubt about that, while Paddy's struggling as well," said Robertson.

"Sammy's got an infection in the wound and is on antibiotics and will not make this week.

"He needed stitches after the game at Sligo because there was a stud mark on his ankle, but it was just one of those things, it wasn't malicious. It was a complete accident. They both went in and they both tackled each other.

"It's just one of those freak things that happen."

On the plus side for the Candystripes, Sean Hargan, who make on as a substitute for McCourt, is likely to be fighting for a place in the starting line-up, while player of the season so far, Ken Oman, is also likely to return to the squad. The ex-Bohs centre-back missed the trip to the Showgrounds, because of food poisoning.

The Dubliners have the Indian sign over Derry this season, as they have already beaten them twice, but Robertson is confident that he can maintain his unbeaten run as Brandywell boss.

"We've lots of hard games coming up, we look forward to the St Pats game and try our very best," said Robertson.

"The next few weeks brings us up against teams who are fighting for the title and that is a good measuring stick as to where we want to be.

"We've had a lot of difficult matches recently and having reached a cup final.

"There was a flatness in Sligo, which shouldn't have been there because it was a derby."

The Scotsman also remarked that veteran striker Gary Beckett is pencilled in for an operation, while Alan Moore and Ola Tidman may have to retire.

"Gary is going in for an operation on his troublesome groin problem, on September 19 and hopefully that will clear it up, while Alan has a back problem, which could conceivably finish his career," said Robertson.

"Ola Tidman is another one with a problem and who could need surgery and he's another one whose career could be over."

With Drogheda United seven points clear at the top of the table St Pat's hopes of winning the league appear to be over, but there is all to play for in second place.

Derry sit seventh but will hope to close to five point gap on Sligo who are in sixth.

Belfast Telegraph


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