Derry City to unleash Mac on title rivals
Stephen McLaughlin is the man Derry City boss Stephen Kenny is looking to fill the void left by James McClean's departure to Sunderland.
Derry embark on a series of games against the other title contenders which could define their title challenge, starting with the visit of St Patrick's Athletic to the Brandywell this evening (7.45pm).
McLaughlin has been confined largely to cameo appearances this season but Kenny has been full of praise for the way he has taken his chances as they have come along this season.
“When Stephen came in when James was suspended the last time we played St Patrick's, I thought he was our best player on the night,” Kenny said.
“He will have taken a lot of confidence from that display and I believe he is ready to stake a claim for his place in the starting line-up for the rest of the season.”
The £350,000 Derry are to receive from the Black Cats for McClean is burning a hole in Kenny's pocket, especially since they will be missing the influential Gareth McGlynn for the next six weeks, although that is less than was originally feared when he picked up the knock representing the Airtricity League a couple of weeks ago.
Derry go into the game trailing league leaders Sligo Rovers only on goal difference following their demolition of hapless Galway last weekend.
Striker Eamon Zayed got two of those goals, and could easily have completed his hat-trick but unselfishly laid the ball off for Patrick McEleney, as the league’s highest scorer took his tally to 19.
Meanwhile Derry's EA Sports League Cup semi-final against Sligo has been confirmed for Tuesday week, August 23.