Belfast Telegraph

Shamrock Rovers will be Derry City's toughest test says Shiels

 

By Eoin Wilson

Kenny Shiels believes victory for his Derry City side against Shamrock Rovers this evening would represent a huge feat against a team he believes is the best in the Premier Division.

Despite a very poor start to the season, Rovers have improved of late, with only Cork City and Bray Wanderers picking up more points in recent weeks.

Stephen Bradley's team come to Maginn Park on the back of two successive league wins, and Shiels admits that he is amazed the Dubliners are not challenging for the league title.

"Shamrock Rovers have the strongest panel of players in the league in every aspect and that's where we can get some satisfaction," Shiels explained.

"I'm amazed that, despite everything we have gone through this season, we are a point ahead of Shamrock Rovers going into the latter part of May.

"That's unbelievable. I never expected to be ahead of them because of the money they have spent and the players they have brought in. They have taken the two best players from Dundalk, they have taken players from England, they have brought in so many good players that it's unbelievable that we are a point ahead of them and that gives us some hope."

Fourth placed City have managed just one win in the last 10 league games and face both Rovers and Dundalk in the next five days. The Candystripes are unbeaten in six games however and Shiels believes his team have been unfortunate not to pick up more points.

"The satisfaction we can take from the games we haven't won is that we have been dominant in them all practically with a very inexperienced team," he said.

"The learning that is going on in there has been absolutely fantastic for the young boys.

"Whilst that learning is going on, they are getting better and better and when they encounter those similar scenarios again, they will have learned from those experiences and they will deal with it better.

"There are areas which I feel we need to improve and we have looked at that this week and we are addressing them. The boys have worked hard and they are fully aware of what is expected."

Lukas Schubert is available for selection after missing the game at Limerick due to a family bereavement.

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