Derry City v Bohemians: Candystripes aim to wrap up European spot with a victory
Derry City will qualify for European competition next season if they can beat Bohemians at the Brandywell tonight.
That is the incentive driving Kenny Shiels and his players on after midweek results in the Premier Division mean that neither St Patrick's Athletic nor Sligo Rovers will be able to catch the Candystripes if they claim all three points this evening.
With Cork City and Dundalk set to contest the FAI Cup final, it means an extra spot in Europe for the team finishing in fourth, and Shiels is determined that his team seal the deal tonight.
"It's a good positon to be in and it makes it a bigger game," he said.
"We're fighting for something right up to the end because first of all we want to win to get into Europe and our next objective is then to get third.
"It has been massive progress and we can't deny that. We're delighted with what has happened this season. The season has been a season of progress and player development and we want to keep that up. It's important to improve with each game and every season."
Shiels is equally determined to get a win in front of the Brandywell fans, something Derry City have been unable to do since beating Longford Town 4-0 in July. Since then, six games have passed without a Brandywell victory and Shiels is eager to change that statistic in the penultimate game of the season at home.
"If you look at our home performances, we have dominated most of them, and I don't think anyone can argue with that, but so often we have ended up with a draw," he reflected.
"So we're going out to give our supporters something back, we've got to do that for them because they have been very loyal.
"We've got to go and win it for them."
Conor McDermott will return to the City squad for this evening's game after starring for the Northern Ireland U21s against France in midweek.