Derry set sights on making net gains ahead of fortnight break
Derry City will attempt to score their first goal against Galway United in five meetings in the final game before the mid-season break tonight (7.45pm).
The Candystripes have endured a frustrating time against Galway of late, with successive 0-0 draws last season followed by a League Cup defeat and a third scoreless draw at Eamonn Deacy Park last month.
But with the chance to go third following Bray Wanderers' defeat to Shamrock Rovers in midweek, there is no shortage of motivation for Kenny Shiels and his players, who are nine games unbeaten.
However, the Derry boss has no shortage of personnel problems. Nicky Low is suspended while Mikhail Kennedy has been ruled out for over a month with a broken toe.
"We are getting boys out of school at the minute," Shiels explained. "We have had to get Sam Todd and Cathal Farren to make up the squad on Friday because Mikhail is out and Rory (Patterson) is out and that puts us down to 16, including two goalkeepers."
Tonight's game is the final fixture before the two-week mid-season break, but despite a reduced squad, Shiels questioned the logic of the break.
"I think it causes congestion leading into it," he said. "It would probably be better just to stay in season, but that's just my view.
"I would prefer to continue on through because it would help us prepare for Europe. It's a wee bit of a stammer in our preparation for Europe. We requested this game for the Thursday night, and Galway and ourselves were both receptive to that but the league turned it down."
Derry can finish the first half of the season in third place with victory over Galway United at Maginn Park.
"It gives us an incentive because if we go third it would be outstanding given everything that's happened," said Shiels.
"We just have to be right up for our game."
• Adam Foley has rejoined Glenavon after a spell with Portadown.