Shiels calling on Derry to flex muscles against leaders
Derry will attempt to become the first team to take points off Cork City this season when the two rivals meet at Turner's Cross this evening (kick-off 7.30pm).
John Caulfield's leaders have won seven games from seven so far and are the only team remaining in the Premier Division with a 100% record.
While Cork have hardly put a foot wrong, Derry slipped up for the first time in an emotional encounter against Bray Wanderers last week, the first match since the death of skipper Ryan McBride. Manager Kenny Shiels, who knows the odds are against his team again, believes his players will have to raise their game.
"The players are doing well but we will have to match up to Cork," he said. "We will have to be brave and take the ball. If it comes to football we'll do well because the quality is in their play. We just have to be stronger and more physical.
"Cork have won all their games by winning the second balls. They are good at what they do. It will be a hard game. They are direct in how they play, they have great physical presence."
Shiels believes tonight's game will be between two sides with contrasting styles and he is in no doubt the Candystripes play the better football.
"The first priority is to entertain," he stated. "If everybody adopted that attitude it would be a better game. It's not win at all costs for us, it's about performing in a way in which will please the fans. We play with that freedom, we don't just hump it up; we'll see two very different styles."
Derry will be without Rory Patterson, while goalkeeper Gerard Doherty, defender Dean Jarvis and midfielder Barry McNamee all face late fitness tests.