Patterson boost as Candystripes aim to end Cork's unbeaten run
Rory Patterson will return to action tonight as Derry City hope to become the first side to inflict defeat on runaway league leaders Cork City (7.45pm).
The striker has made only two appearances this season, both of which ended prematurely due to a broken bone in his foot.
In his absence City have struggled for goals, with last week's defeat to Bray Wanderers sending the Candystripes to fifth place in the Premier Division.
But with Patterson now fit and lacking only match sharpness, Kenny Shiels is hoping his team will develop an extra edge in front of goal at Maginn Park, particularly with the Europa League tie against Danish side FC Midtjylland just days away.
"They're like a machine," said Shiels. "They are fitter and stronger and they have all those attributes. They are very direct and fight for second balls and they are good at what they do.
"They deserve credit because they have found a way of playing that is very hard to compete with unless you have big, strong physical players. We will try to play as best we can and I'm sure we will give them a good game."
City have already beaten the likes of Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers at Maginn Park this season, but Shiels is expecting his team's toughest test yet.
"They have improved and they have brought in players. It's not as if they have been lucky in any games. They have warranted their victories and it will be a really tough game."