Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Derry keep low profile but are looking up

Dermot McBride has been an important figure for Derry as they continue to progress under Brian McIver

Derry football boss Brian McIver is hoping that his softly, softly approach to Sunday's all-important Division Two showdown with Westmeath will pay handsome dividends.

McIver has been keen to keep his players out of the media glare for the past week but at training last night he fired out the message that he will have no objection to seeing his side in the national spotlight for all the right reasons come Sunday evening.

"Our total focus since we beat Louth has been on this game against Westmeath, who are already promoted, but will want to now step up their Leinster championship preparations and that, you can be sure, would include beating us," insists McIver.

It was that win over Louth which has piloted Derry into the frame for a place in Division One, something that McIver feels is well within the gambit of his side.

"We have home advantage against Westmeath and we are in a good place. We would hope to be in an even better place by the end of the game – our destiny is in our own hands and it is up to us to deliver," says McIver.

In overcoming Louth, Derry scored 2-12 and this was the first time in the league that the side landed two goals. While the Oak Leaf side has been dominating teams in terms of territory and possession, they have not been able to find the opposition net as often as McIver would have liked.

"Of course you'd like to see the net bulging a couple of times in every game but the other side of it is that we are running up good scores. We've been experimenting in terms of bringing players in and not everything works to perfection when you do that," explains the Derry boss.

"But I would hope as we progress we'd start creating goal chances and taking them. However, believe me, at the minute as long as we are creating scoring opportunities I'm more than happy."

While McIver (pictured) expresses himself as being "more than satisfied" with Derry's progress to date, he is aware that his side is not the finished article.

"It's a case of so far so good. To get a couple of points at Westmeath's expense would put us up and that would be terrific.

"But we will have to work very hard to achieve this and we have to accept that there are other sides in the promotion hunt as well as ourselves," declares McIver. "That win over Louth has given us further belief and encouragement.

"They had just beaten Armagh and were on a high when we met them but we showed a lot of commitment and character in that game which delighted me."

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