Belfast Telegraph

Shiels challenges Candystripes to move on up with a win

By Eoin Wilson

Kenny Shiels is confident his Derry City side can end the weekend back in third place as they prepare to face St Patrick's Athletic in Dublin this evening.

With Bray Wanderers set to face runaway league leaders Cork City and Shamrock Rovers' game with Limerick postponed due to European commitments, the path could be clear for the Candystripes to jump two places in the Premier Division, but only if they can secure a fourth successive victory at Inchicore this evening.

St Pat's have had a poor season so far and have failed to win any of their last eight league games, while City returned to winning ways in style last Sunday with a 4-0 demolition of Sligo Rovers at Maginn Park.

With City's own European excursions now over for another season, manager Shiels is hoping his team can start to make strides in the right direction back towards the top of the table.

"We have learned a lot from Europe. Because we didn't have the players to compete, we used the experience to learn and I think that was quite evident in how we played," he said.

"I thought the team was magnificent against Sligo," he added.

"People were saying how bad Sligo were but I don't mind that type of press because it takes the focus off us.

"I'm sure they will have enquiries into their performance but I'm sure they will also acknowledge how good we were."

City will be without defenders Aaron Barry (hamstring) and Conor McDermott (groin), but with Barry McNamee returning from an ankle injury and Rory Patterson back after a long term foot problem, City are looking potent in attack.

"We're happy we got the result and now we're looking forward to the next game," Shiels commented.

"We want to win this one because it could potentially put us into the top three again.

"We could be sitting third after the weekend's over.

"We had a good feeling about the Sligo game beforehand and we're going to have that same approach now with Pat's," Shiels said.

"We're going to try and approach it with the same attitude and hopefully we can win," he added.

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