| 5.2°C Belfast

Derry determined to take control of their own destiny, maintains Harkin



On mission: Ciaron Harkin has his sights set on third place

On mission: Ciaron Harkin has his sights set on third place

On mission: Ciaron Harkin has his sights set on third place

Derry City can take European qualification into their own hands with victory against Bohemians at the Brandywell tonight, and Ciaron Harkin knows it.

As things stand, Derry are just two points behind the Dubliners with a game in hand.

"Our main aim now is obviously to get third place and the automatic European spot, so it's a big game," Harkin said.

"If we perform the way we have in the big games against Dundalk against those other teams then we should have no bother beating them. We just need to give it another push now and make sure we get that European spot."

Harkin was just one of several Derry players blown away by the atmosphere in last weekend's EA Sports League Cup final, and he believes that if the fans return in numbers there will be little to stop the Candystripes getting the job done in the remaining games.

"We put on a good performance and it was definitely a good night at the Brandywell, and hopefully it's not just cup finals that all the supporters come back for from now on," he continued.

"We have a big six games now going for Europe, so hopefully we can see bigger crowds from now on in the Brandywell.

"It was crazy, looking about and seeing the thousands there out to support us. It means a lot. I got a lot of messages wishing me luck and obviously seeing my family getting down to watch me play for my hometown club felt amazing."

Reflecting on an emotional night at the Brandywell last Saturday, Harkin, like his manager Declan Devine, was filled not just with pride but a determination to take Derry to the next level.

"This year everyone in our team has known that we are doing well," he stated. "Against the big teams, the likes of Dundalk who are going for a treble, we have shown them they can't run over the top of us.

"Everyone in the team should take a positive from that and know that we could be there or thereabouts next year if we just stick together and keep pushing.

"Obviously we didn't get the trophy, but everyone should be proud of themselves because we put in a good effort."

Belfast Telegraph