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Doherty eager for Derry to regain winning feeling

 

By Eoin Wilson

Ger Doherty has dismissed the notion that the pressure is building on Derry City as they go into tonight's clash against St Patrick's Athletic looking for their first victory in seven games.

The Derry captain was at his best earlier this week as they came from behind to grab a point against Limerick, making it two draws from their last two for the Candystripes.

Doherty insists that the players are doing everything they can to get three points.

"There's no real pressure," he said. "We feel if we get the first goal or if we don't concede in the first half and just stay in the game we're always going to get chances but we are giving ourselves a bit of a mountain to climb at times. You can see that the boys are trying their hearts out. You can't fault that because everyone is giving 100 per cent so we're happy enough."

Derry have conceded the first goal in each of their last six games, and Doherty knows that striking first is vital if they are to defeat St Pat's tonight.

"If you look back to the start of the season against Dundalk and Rovers, there weren't really many shots on goal," he said.

"Then we were nicking goals. Maybe we've changed a bit and teams are letting us have the ball but that's up to us to get onto the training pitch and work out what we have to do."

One positive for manager Kenny Shiels, who celebrated his birthday yesterday, is the availability of Barry McNamee, who earned that point against Limerick with a brilliant free-kick. McNamee is Derry's top scorer so far and Doherty acknowledged the threat the 25-year-old brings.

"That's what Baz gives you, not just the goals, but he has that bit of experience and nous higher up the pitch," he said.

The fans were vocal in their frustrations in the first half of Tuesday's game at Maginn, but Doherty insists that the players are 100 per cent committed.

"It's a bit strange out there when it's 0-0 and you're passing it about and you're trying to do the right thing and people are getting on your back," he said.

"We're trying to do things right; we're not just smashing balls around the place. I know it's frustrating for fans but we're trying to do the right thing."

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