Kenny Shiels targeting FAI Cup run as Christian Castells gets set for Derry City debut
Spanish defender Christian Castells is in line to make his Derry City debut in the FAI Cup last 16 showdown against Bohemians at Dalymount Park tonight.
The former Alicante defender was brought in this week as emergency cover to help the Candystripes through a defensive crisis, with Ryan McBride, Aaron Barry and Patrick McClean all struggling for fitness.
Both McBride and Barry look certain to miss tonight's game, meaning that Castells, who began training with Kenny Shiels' men on Sunday, could be thrust straight into the thick of the action.
A goal from Rory Patterson earned Derry a 1-0 win over the Bohs at Dalymount just three weeks ago, but manager Shiels believes that result will have no bearing whatsoever on tonight's fixture.
"Bohemians have really good quality on their team," he said. "We have to be mentally ready for it because it's a tough place to go.
"Our organisation has been fantastic; we have kept so many clean sheets and let's hope we can do that again. At times they went direct to get back into the game. It's a big feature of their game so we must have our concentration and our focus at 100 per cent because 99 per cent is not enough."
Derry have won the FAI Cup five times in their history and last reached the final in 2014. Having lost out on the chance to reach the League Cup final with the recent semi-final defeat to Limerick, Shiels is hoping for success in his first FAI Cup campaign.
"The club has a good tradition in the cup and we want that tradition to continue," he said.
"The FAI Cup is special for Derry and I would like to get a good cup run for the local supporters and also for the club and the players, so this is a big game.
"It's way too early to be talking about the later stages of this competition, but obviously a good cup run would be a really good thing for us in terms of morale.
"Bohemians are a tough side with a lot of good players. We did well to come out of there with a league win last time, and we'll be looking to bring the same attitude to this game."
- Bohemians v Derry City, FAI Cup Third Round: Dalymount Park, Tonight, 7.45pm