Belfast Telegraph

Patrick McEleney out to give Derry City's title hopes a lift

By Eoin Wilson

Derry City head into an Easter weekend double header hoping that their fortunes have finally changed.

The Candystripes' win over Athlone last week, although fortunate, was nevertheless a much needed boost for Roddy Collins' team, who had won just one of their opening six league games.

Goals were also proving hard to come by for Derry, and although they remain one of the lowest scorers in the league, the three strikes against Athlone could be the turning point after a difficult opening period. And with two games in four days against Bray Wanderers (tonight) and Limerick (Monday), the Brandywell side can almost double their points tally in one weekend.

Patrick McEleney for one is targeting six points.

"We had a tough start but our next batch of games aren't against what you would call the top, top teams so we have to take full advantage of that and really start our league challenge," he said.

"We're definitely targeting the league. That was our priority at the start of the year and that's what it still is. It's still early days and there's a lot of games to go."

That view is shared by team-mate Jon Paul McGovern, who admitted that Derry are ready to start firing.

"The first six or seven weeks were tough but these are teams you have to play. We'll go to Bray now and aim for the win, hopefully get three points and start from there. We'll let others do the talking. There's no reason why we have to be scared and hopefully we can build momentum.

"Everyone has a point to prove but it's going to be a difficult game," he continued.

"The manager's done a lot of work with us this week and we're going to go there with a gameplan. The manager has stated how he wants us to play with the ball and without the ball."

Roddy Collins will be without influential midfielder Barry Molloy for the visit to the Carlisle Grounds this evening but Barry McNamee is available.

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