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Doherty urging Candystripes to find a higher gear

Bohemians v Derry City, SSE Airtricity Premier Division, Dalymount Park, Tonight, 7.45pm

By Eoin Wilson

Derry City head to Bohemians tonight hoping for a win to kickstart their season.

Kenny Shiels has watched his team slip to consecutive 2-1 defeats against Waterford and Sligo Rovers, and knows that a big improvement is needed if his team are going to walk away from Dalymount Park with their first points of the season.

The Candystripes have won seven successive games against tonight's opponents but full-back Ben Doherty knows that if they don't improve, that run will be brought to a halt.

"Normally when we go down to Bohemians we do have good games and we get good results but there are no gimmes," he said. "We still have to put the performance in and we still have to score goals and defend well, which we haven't been doing in the last two games."

The torrential conditions at Waterford could well have contributed to Derry's opening-day defeat, but Doherty acknowledged there was no such excuse at the Showgrounds on Friday.

"Last week it was evident that the pitch played a massive part but this week there was no excuse," he continued.

"The pitch was in good nick and we had the wind with us. That was the net they like attacking and the crowd got them going and you can feel the 12th man, but we just weren't up to it in the second half.

"The games are coming really quick but we can't dwell on it too much. As soon as we went into the changing room after the game the focus became Tuesday and getting points on the board."

This Friday, Derry are set to return to the Brandywell after a year away with a game against Stephen Kenny's Dundalk, but Doherty admits that if the Candystripes go into the clash with zero points from three games, they will do so under mounting pressure.

"After Bohemians on Tuesday we hopefully have Dundalk on Friday at the re-opening of the Brandywell and the crowds will be coming out to watch," he said. "If we don't have any points going into that game it can turn on us, and that's not what we want, especially with the big hype of going back into the Brandywell.

Derry will be hopeful that new signing Jack Doyle will be eligible for Bohemians, while John Cofie and David Hopkirk could come into the squad for the first time.

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