Kenny Shiels demands four victories to achieve podium finish
Kenny Shiels has set his Derry City players a target of climaxing the season with four consecutive victories - starting at Longford tonight - in a bid to ensure a third place finish.
The Candystripes are currently in fourth place but chasing Shamrock Rovers, who must drop points if Derry are to have any chance of overtaking them in the final month of the season.
The Brandywell side are still getting over the disappointment of losing the FAI Cup semi-final replay to Dundalk in midweek, and although fourth place now guarantees European football next season, Shiels wants his players to prove that they are the third best team in the country with a strong finish.
"I have just kept saying to them, 'are we the fourth best team in Ireland at the minute or are we the third?'," he said.
"These questions will be answered in the remaining four games.
"It has gone outside our control, if Shamrock Rovers win their four games that's outside our control, we can't control that, but if they were to drop points and we have got to expect them to drop points and the players' remit is to win our last four games, starting at Longford.
"Let's look at winning the first one and it will put us in a good position to challenge because the guy in front, which is Shamrock Rovers, is going to be looking over his shoulder."
Shiels has promised to ring the changes for City at Longford tonight, with the likes of Christian Castells, Joshua Daniels and Harry Monaghan all set to start.
"I'm already looking ahead to next season and I have to see if they are up for this game in particular at Longford," he explained. "I'm looking at trying to give the bench more game time.
"The bench have been hard done by because in our last three games against Dundalk (twice) and Shamrock Rovers, those players weren't really ready to go in there, but we have to be realistic as it is a squad game and a lot of those players have to pull us out this season."