Derry City could have faced easier opposition than Bray Wanderers, as they attempt to regain top spot in the Premier Division.
The Seagulls have defeated City in their last two encounters at the Carlisle Grounds.
Last April, Wanderers inflicted Derry’s first league defeat of that campaign; then in October a controversial Ger Rowe goal proved to be the difference between the sides as Eddie Gormley’s men secured a hard fought 2-1 victory.
Nevertheless City boss Stephen Kenny is expecting his players to respond to last week’s defeat to Sligo Rovers.
“The players are really hurting following that defeat by Sligo and I’m sure they will try their very best to put that adverse result behind them when we clash with Bray Wanderers on Friday night at the Carlisle Grounds,” admitted Kenny. “Bray are having a decent season so far and were very unlucky to have taken just a point against Dundalk in a 1-1 draw last week in a game that they dominated. They’ve beaten St Pat’s so we must not make the mistake of treating them lightly.
“The Carlisle Grounds is a difficult venue to get points and it has proved a difficult venue for us in the past but we will go there in a quietly confident mood. We must believe in our own abilities. That’s the important factor.
“Our away form has been good with wins against Shamrock Rovers and St. Pats and a good draw against Bohs too but we won’t get carried away. The Sligo result was a wake up call for us and it’s up to us to respond to that in a very positive way.”
With champions Bohemians not playing until Saturday at Sligo, Kenny and his players know they need to put some pressure on the champions for their trip to the Showgrounds, something which they failed to do last weekend.
“Our league campaign is still only in its infancy and although we’re doing well having lost only once in seven games it will be 18 or so games before we can really access how we’ve done up to that point,” he said. “It’s really all about looking after your own team. What other clubs do is out of our hands.”
The Candystripes go into the game without keeper Gerard Doherty, after he injured his knee in the closing minutes of last week’s defeat, meaning Pat Jennings gets his first start in over three years.
Peter Hutton and fellow defender Stephen Gray return.