Belfast Telegraph

Hutton in need of fighting spirit as Elding exits

Airtricity Premier Division

By Eoin Wilson

Changes are afoot at Derry City ahead of a must win game in Drogheda this evening, with striker Anthony Elding leaving the club yesterday.

Elding, who made 11 appearances for Derry, scoring two goals, has been deemed as surplus to requirements at the Brandywell and has spent the last few weeks as an unused substitute.

Elding is the second player to leave the Brandywell in the past week with midfielder Sean Houston also departing, which now frees up some funds for manager Peter Hutton to bring new players into the team.

However, any new arrivals cannot come in until the transfer window opens in July, and Derry head to Drogheda desperate for a win.

The Candystripes have failed to win any of their last seven league games and, following heavy defeats to St. Patrick's Athletic and Shamrock Rovers, Hutton admits his team must start worrying about a relegation fight.

"We spoke about that also to the players and if they don't get to the levels that are required they certainly will be," he said.

"They need to do that quickly because other teams around us will probably improve as the season progresses and we need to get to a higher level of intensity and application both in possession and out of possession.

"This is an important game for us but we want to go into the break in a positive frame of mind and on the back of a good result.

"There's pressure on myself naturally from the start of season but given the recent results it certainly adds to it.

"But we just have to focus on the next game.

"We all want to do well here and we all want to be successful and, if anything, this will be a good learning curve for the players."

Bad luck has undoubtedly been a factor this season for Derry, with injuries to key players at important times costing Derry valuable points.

Suspensions have also played their part and following Monday's red card against Shamrock Rovers, his second of the season, Ryan McBride now has a potential four-match ban hanging over him.

However, Mark Timlin will return from suspension to boost City's attacking options this evening.

But even if things go wrong again in Drogheda, Hutton insists he will not walk away.

He said: "I'm confident in my own capabilities and while we mightn't have as many leaders in terms of experience we have some good young players in terms of potential and we have to get them to realise that."

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