Players from Derry City were last night locked in talks with both manager Stephen Kenny and board members in attempt to save the club.
It’s thought intensive discussions were held at the Brandywell all day yesterday and, although nothing was finalised, more talks are expected to take place next week as the Candystripes attempt to firstly secure their UEFA Licence for participating in the League of Ireland Premier Division for the 2010 campaign and then, more importantly, ensure there is a football club.
For boss Kenny, preparation for this evening’s penultimate league fixture of the season against lowly Bray Wanderers certainly hasn’t been ideal, but the Dubliner nevertheless wants his players to finish on a winning note in front of an expected large crowd in the Maiden City.
“It’s a massive game for us,” he said.
“If we could win then it would give us a chance of securing European football for next season which, considering the circumstances, would be great for the club.
“Despite everything that has happened we have to try and get a win the game but it is going to be hard against a Bray side who are fighting for their lives.”
In fact, Eddie Gormley’s Wanderers know a defeat tonight would mean relegation to the First Division and, because of that, Kenny is wary of the threat posed by the Seagulls, whose own hopes of Euro qualification were dashed by Sunday’s FAI Cup quarter-final defeat to Sporting Fingal.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game, they have already beaten both Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers this season so they are capable of producing great performances, even though they are bottom of the table, so we know what we are up against,” added Kenny.
“But we had a good win at St Pat’s ourselves last week and we want to follow that up with another positive result.”
It’s also going to be a huge night for defender Peter Hutton, who will be making is final appearance for his home town club after being informed that his contract would not be renewed and Kenny wants to end the skipper’s career on a winning note.
“Peter has been an excellent servant to the club and it would be fantastic if we could mark his final game at the Brandywell with a victory.”
Derry go into the encounter without suspended duo Tam McManus and Gareth McGlynn, while Mark Farren, Stephen Gray and Tommy Stewart are also out.
McGlynn’s loss will be a major blow for Kenny as the gifted midfielder has scored in two of the Candystripes’ last three outings.
However, Sammy Morrow and Kevin Deery both return to the squad and are available for selection after training this week, while the in-form David McDaid is expected to start up front,where he’ll be looking to continue his recent goalscoring run.