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Shiels insists payback isn't a driving factor for Derry City

By Eoin Wilson

Published 10/05/2016

Staying focused: Kenny Shiels isn't getting carried away with recent form
Staying focused: Kenny Shiels isn't getting carried away with recent form

Finn Harps are hoping to rewrite history for the second time this season by again getting one over great rivals Derry City.

The Candystripes welcome their Donegal neighbours to the Brandywell tonight with memories of the defeat at Finn Park on the opening day of the season still fresh in the minds of the players and fans.

Ryan Curran's goal on March 4 sealed Harps' first league win over Derry since 1997, when current assistant boss at the Brandywell Donal O'Brien scored the winning goal.

Since losing that game, however, Derry have lost just once in 11 games in all competitions, and go into tonight's fixture on the back of thrilling triumphs against Cork City and St Patrick's Athletic.

There is now a great desire among fans to avenge that defeat against Harps but Candystripes boss Kenny Shiels has insisted that revenge is not weighing on his players' minds.

"There's a great saying that revenge is a dish best served cold, and we must take the heat out of it and prepare for the game like any other game," explained Shiels.

"We know it's a derby and that there will be a decent crowd there.

"We have got to forget about what happened in the first game and prepare and look at it as a game of football that we feel we can win, and if we do that then happy days, we can move on.

"We've lost one game since they beat us. We have 23 points from our last 10 games and that's significant. We've won two on the bounce so let's go on another little run and see how we go with Finn Harps. The boys are up for it."

Shiels was delighted with his team's display against St Pat's at Richmond Park last Friday night, particularly at the end of a demanding week which began with extra-time in the League Cup quarter-final at Cork.

"It was a really good performance and we should keep our feet on the ground but the organisation and the technical skills that we showed were evident," he continued.

"It's about how we keep the ball and the rotation and the movement and the clarity in how we deliver that.

"The players know their job and they have been excellent and we are in a good position for the top six."

Dean Jarvis could be back in contention for the Candystripes after missing the victory at St Patrick's Athletic with a back injury.

Tonight's fixtures (7.45pm kick-off unless stated): Bohemians v Cork City; Dundalk v Bray Wanderers; Galway United FC v St Patrick's Athletic; Derry City v Finn Harps (8.00pm); Longford Town v Wexford Youths (8.00pm); Shamrock Rovers v Sligo Rovers (8.00pm).

Belfast Telegraph

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