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Derry can't rest until European spot is secure, warns McNamee

 

Staying focused: Derry’s Barry McNamee is eyeing big finish
Staying focused: Derry’s Barry McNamee is eyeing big finish

By Eoin Wilson

Derry City are within touching distance of European qualification, but Barry McNamee has insisted that no one is taking anything for granted ahead of tonight's game against St Patrick's Athletic at the Brandywell.

Saturday's 2-1 victory over Sligo Rovers means that the Candystripes need just one point from their final two games to qualify for next season's Europa League, but with tonight's opponents also still in the hunt, it is not mathematically certain.

"We need just one point from the last two games so we'll just focus on ourselves because we have a big game," McNamee admitted. "It's a quick turnaround but we'll be ready for it.

"There's only two games left so I'm sure the Brandywell will be filled to capacity for the two games. You saw in the cup final whenever we went down to 10 men, the full house dragged us to penalties and we hope that they will get us over the line now."

Derry are still hoping to steal third place from Bohemians and will do so if they defeat both St Pat's and Finn Harps in their final two games, with goal difference important in the coming days. A third-place finish would be a significant improvement for the club after eighth last year.

"The boys are probably fed up hearing it but Decky (boss Declan Devine) has been repeating it since January," McNamee added. "We've come together as a new group and everyone has bought into what Decky and Deerso (assistant Kevin Deery) have been doing here.

"It would be a huge achievement, but the job isn't done yet and we have to finish it.

"Our aim is to win the last two games. If Bohs win their last game it will go down to goal difference, but we're aiming for third. Fourth place gets Europe so we have got to nail that down on Tuesday, and if we win that and beat Harps, hopefully we'll get third place as well.

"Our objective is to finish third, but next season if we're playing in Europe no one will care if you finish third or fourth."

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