Doherty confident Derry can maintain momentum against Waterford
Derry City's perfect home record comes under serious threat tonight when they host high-flying Waterford at the Brandywell.
The Candystripes have won all three games since returning to the Brandywell, scoring 12 goals in the process against Limerick, Bray Wanderers and St Patrick's Athletic.
But they face arguably their toughest test so far when they face Waterford, whose victory over champions Cork City last week propelled them into second place in the Premier Division.
Derry suffered successive defeats to Waterford and Sligo Rovers at the start of the season, and after their 6-1 demolition at the hands of Shamrock Rovers there was genuine concern about the prospects for the season.
But the return to the Brandywell could not have come at a better time according to team captain Gerard Doherty. "It came at the right time getting home and back to our fans," he said.
"The travelling was taking its toll on a lot of people, but after the Bohs game we've definitely seen an improvement and once we got that first win at the Brandywell, it gave everyone so much confidence to the players and the whole club and it maybe proved a few people wrong at the same time.
"It's great to be back in the Brandywell and the results have been good but that goes out the window now. I keep going back to the Rovers match and how we felt after that and use that as a reminder that you're never far off from a slip up.
"But at the moment the boys have been focused for every game - but I don't want that feeling again, just we're using that as motivation going into another massive game."
Doherty admits that he was surprised at the poor nature of City's start this year, but the recent recovery has made the team much more confident.
"Our start surprised me because I didn't think it would go so badly," he said.
"Sometimes there's a doubt in the back of your mind where you're wondering if it's ever going to turn around. But there's nothing you can do about that; you just have to keep plugging away. It was tough at the time.
"It's not as if we're going to go through the season unbeaten and win every game at home. We have to be realistic as well; there are going to be some bad results which come our way and we know that.
"We can only continue to try and do what we've been doing which is go into games confident. We know we can score and hurt teams and we're finding it decent to play at the Brandywell again so long may that continue."