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It's Bohs first, then play-off for Candystripes

By Colin Speer

Derry City manager John Robertson admits the Setanta Sports Cup play-off is now his main target, but he stresses tonight's game against Bohemians is just as important.

Although the Brandywell men are destined for a mid-table finish in the league, Robertson wants to go into the play-off against Finn Harps, Cobh Ramblers or Dundalk with a good record.

"We have a very, very big play-off game coming up, so I'm not going to rush the likes of Ken Oman, Paddy McCourt, Sean Hargan, Mark Farren, Sammy Morrow and so on, because we have bigger fish to fry," said the Derry boss.

"The big one for us now is the play-off, but that doesn't dilute from the Bohs match, or the other matches against Shamrock Rovers, Longford Town or Galway United, because we are going to be working our socks off to win in each and every game. But we also need to go into the play-off clash with the strongest 16 players available."

The ex-Hearts manager wants his players to produce a similar performance this evening to the one they produced at Bray Wanderers, but he also declared he doesn't want to concede another last minute goal.

"For 65 minutes at Bray on Monday night, it was the best football we have played since I have been at the club. We were sharp, controlled the game and the performance ticked all the boxes for me, apart from the 93rd minute.

"We had good crosses and created chances, but once again we couldn't put the ball in the net. It has been a recurring theme for us. The players don't deserve that.

"I couldn't ask for anything more from them, because everyone of them was super, nevertheless it's going to be hard against Bohs. They are a good side and the league table doesn't lie."

"The players have showed great commitment both on and off the pitch, but I feel we just need that little piece of luck. In most of the games we have showed great attitude and commitment, but just haven't had that little rub of the green and that's the difference between champions and sitting in mid-table.

"Drogheda are sitting with a eight points lead at the top and the main reason is that they have scored quite a few times this season in the 93rd minute, but good luck to them and that's what we need to do.

"In fairness to my players most of the games we should have been out of sight come half-time let allone the 93rd minute, but we haven't and that's something we'll have to work on."

Derry's Under-21 side could bring a trophy to the club on Sunday when they host Bray Wanderers in the prestigious Enda McGuill Cup final (5pm).

Belfast Telegraph


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