Derry City know that victory over their old rivals Finn Harps tonight will place them just 90 minutes away from clinching the Airtricity First Division — and with it promotion to the top flight that they so desperately want.
The Brandywell men are currently three points clear of Monaghan United and they are also eight goals better off than Mick Cooke's Waterford United side, who they face in their final game of the season, but boss Stephen Kenny just wants his players to repeat their recent goalscoring form.
The Candystripes have scored eight goals and only conceded one in their last two matches and the Dubliner is hoping to end the season in front of the home supporters this evening with a bang.
“We’re playing well and we want to continue that and play with freedom, but also defend well and show a high work ethic,” said Kenny.
“Finn Harps have good players and we know that they’ll make it difficult for us. We look like we have goals in us, but it’s important that we defend well and a win by any scoreline will be a good result.
“We’ve had our difficulties this season with the Mark Farren situation at the start of the season, Kevin Deery being available for less than half our games and Stephen Parkhouse’s injury problems, but we’ve come through that and are now on the verge of a special achievement and we just need to keep it going.”
One man who the Derry gaffer had a special word for is midfielder Ruairi Harkin, who after returning from injury recently has played his part in the recent victories over Shelbourne and Salthill Devon.
“Ruairi is a player who we value and he showed great determination to come back from his knee operation and come straight into the first team when his rehabilitation was over,” said Kenny
“He deserves credit for that.
“Ruiari and David McDaid are two players who were deemed surplus to requirements last season and were sent out on-loan to Finn Harps, but they’ve proved this season that they are good players.”
Kenny is also hoping that their will be a packed Brandywell tonight and he's telling the home support to be patient with his young side as they improve with experience after the club went through some difficult times.
“We’ve had good support this season, we’re glad to have it and if we are patient on Friday it will hopefully be a good night for the club,” he continued.