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City can secure spot in Europe despite worrying dip in form, insists Barry

 

By Eoin Wilson

Derry City can close the gap on Shamrock Rovers and third place to just one point with victory over Drogheda United at Maginn Park tonight.

The Candystripes are under pressure to perform after losing their last four games in all competitions, the lowest point of which came last weekend when they lost 5-0 at home to Bray Wanderers.

Anything other than victory over relegation-doomed Drogheda would all but end City's hopes of third place, but defender Aaron Barry has refuted criticism that the players have given up on the season.

"I don't think anyone in this squad would throw the towel in," he insisted.

"I don't know what's caused the last three or four defeats. We've just sort of collapsed, but you can't say that there's nothing to play for either because there's Europe, which is the biggest financial incentive in this league, so from our point of view for the club that incentive is definitely still there."

Barry continued: "There's plenty (of leaders) out there and plenty are vocal despite what fans might think. It's up to individuals as well. You can't rely on three or four people to pull 11 lads together.

"It's a personal responsibility that all of us have to make sure that you yourself are not rolling over and throwing the towel in."

Barry insisted every player remains behind manager Kenny Shiels, who directed blame for last week's defeat on the players.

"I sympathise with him right now because we more than anything have let Kenny down in the last four games. Kenny is trying his hardest but the players are as well," he said.

"The only thing we can do here is stick together. Everyone is behind Kenny 100%, and Kenny is behind us 100%. That dynamic has been there from the first day that Kenny walked into the club.

"He gets the most out of his players because he gets to know them personally as well, so there's never any danger of that kind of thing happening.

"I just think we need to pull together more than ever and stick together. At the end of the day we've lost our last three league games and before that we won our last four, so I don't think there would have been any questioning whether the team was behind Kenny then."

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