Belfast Telegraph

Candystripes keen to grab Euro spot with top display: Cherrie

Can do better: Peter Cherrie knows Derry City must improve on their last performance when they host Finn Harps tonight
Can do better: Peter Cherrie knows Derry City must improve on their last performance when they host Finn Harps tonight

By Eoin Wilson

Peter Cherrie insists that Derry City must get the job done tonight regardless of who Finn Harps field at the Brandywell.

There have been suggestions that Harps will rest several of their first team squad ahead of the promotion-relegation play-off game on Monday which, if true, could boost City's chances of getting the one point they need to secure fourth place and European football.

Yet Cherrie is not having any of that and, after Tuesday's lacklustre defeat to St Pat's, he knows there is a big job to be done by the Candystripes in their final game of the season.

"We can't think about Finn Harps," he said. "It doesn't matter what team they bring because we have to go out there and for our own sake put on a performance. We'll go on the training ground and focus on Harps because we know what's at stake.

"If the boys want to play in Europe then the boys know what they have to do."

This will be City's third game in six days, but the quick turnaround is actually a good thing according to Cherrie.

"We need Friday to come quickly, and thankfully there's only a few days in it before we have another game," he explained.

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"That's probably a blessing that we have a game so fast. It's a big game anyway so Harps are not going to come and lie down, especially for a derby.

"We have to go to work, there's no getting away from it. We said a few words in the changing room (after St Pat's) and we'll move on and focus on Harps."

Cherrie, like his manager Declan Devine, was unable to put his finger on what went wrong on Tuesday night.

"We knew that they were going to come up and have a go at us because they are fighting for the same thing that we are fighting for," he stated.

"Nerves maybe played a part. We have a young team so maybe that was playing in the boys' heads, but football is a funny game.

"I know we only need a point but we have to put on a better performance, not just for the fans but for ourselves."

It all comes down to tonight's games for both City and St Pat's - and Cherrie knows a similar display to Tuesday's could still ruin everything.

"We don't need Declan to tell us that we weren't at the races because we know that ourselves," he acknowledged.

"We said a few words because we know that it's not good enough and we know that it's not acceptable.

"After the year that we've had so far, we know where our standards are and it just wasn't here, but we can put it right."

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