Belfast Telegraph

Shiels' boys set for emotional fixture

By Eoin Wilson

Derry City hope to make it four successive league wins at Wexford Youths today at the end of a traumatic week at the club.

Sadness has permeated the country following the tragedy which has befallen the family of Derry first-team player Josh Daniels, who lost his mother Ruth, his sister Jodie-Lee, his nephews Mark and Evan McGrotty and their father Mark McGrotty in a tragic accident at Buncrana Pier on Sunday evening.

Derry City manager Kenny Shiels admitted that everyone at the club had been 'really hurt and badly damaged' by the tragic events which have been met with shock on a national level, but tonight's fixture still goes ahead.

The Candystripes have won three league fixtures in succession, but the euphoria of last week's last-gasp win over Galway United has been forgotten due to the heart-breaking accident in Buncrana and Shiels admitted that rousing the players this week has not been easy.

"We've tried to lift the players all week," he said.

"It's difficult, but the players have worked really well this week and we have to make sure that everyone is bang on for Saturday.

"We've got confidence in our side and we're preparing for a game against a side that has been very good this season."

City return to Ferrycarrig Park for the first time in almost five years and they do so to face a Wexford side still without a win this season. That is not for want of trying however.

"Wexford took Dundalk to five minutes from the end and they were really unlucky," said Shiels.

"In every game they have played they have been unlucky and they have been close so we know that it is going to be hard.

"We're not going there thinking that we have any divine right to win the match because it is going to be really difficult.

"I'm hopeful we can go and win the match. We've worked hard at getting them up and I feel as if the players are up for it.

"We're going for it and hopefully we can get it. We're not going to be negative in any way and we can't let the difficult circumstances affect us."

Ryan McBride is a doubt, while Daniels will be absent for the foreseeable future.

"I've been with Josh most days," said Shiels.

"He's holding up but it's obviously heart-breaking."

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