Belfast Telegraph

Shiels urges City to take care of business against struggling Harps

 

By Eoin Wilson

Kenny Shiels insists that Derry City cannot do Finn Harps any favours ahead of a hugely important derby at Maginn Park.

The visitors desperately need the points to give themselves a fighting chance of avoiding relegation with only three games remaining.

Harps have lost their last three fixtures, plummeting them right into the drop zone, and they may need at least two more victories to have any chance of survival.

Derry could have a huge say on who survives this season with the Candystripes also set to face Sligo Rovers next week, but Shiels insists that his team must be professional and try and secure at least fourth place and Europa League football as a result.

"We don't want Harps relegated and we don't want Sligo relegated but we have got to be professional in how we work," he explained.

"Losing Sligo, Harps and Drogheda - three of our four closest opponents geographically - would cost us in the region of £30,000 for travel alone next season. Next season we are away twice and home twice and that will put extra stress on us in terms of two trips to Cork, two trips to Limerick, two trips to Galway and two trips to Waterford. If you put that all together the cost is going to be excessive.

"But it doesn't matter because we have to be oblivious to their predicament and hopefully put on a good show for the supporters."

Shiels does not have his sorrows to seek ahead of tonight's derby with four players - Dean Jarvis (knee), Conor McDermott (hip), Nathan Boyle (jaw) and Jamie McIntyre (groin) - already ruled out with injury, while midfielder Nicky Low is suspended.

There was good news for City earlier this week, though, after Dundalk secured their place in this season's FAI Cup final alongside Cork City after defeating Shamrock Rovers on Tuesday night. With the top two in the Aviva showpiece, a fourth place finish will now mean Europa League qualification.

"Iff we slip up and don't get third, at least we have the safety net of fourth if we can get that," added Shiels. "But we don't want to qualify for Europe through fourth as Rovers did last year. We want to do it on merit in third."

Derry City vs Finn Harps

SSE Airtricity Premier Division

Maginn Park, Tonight, 7.45pm

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