Derry boss Hutton left to bemoan busy fixture list
Derry City have the opportunity to turn their dismal league form around entirely as they face three games in the space of seven days, beginning with St. Patrick's Athletic at the Brandywell tonight (7.45pm).
Due to Shamrock Rovers' involvement in Europe this season, their league fixture with the Candystripes has been brought forward to Monday, while Derry must also travel to Drogheda United next Friday.
It is a demanding schedule for Peter Hutton and his team, as City find themselves without key players yet again this season. Both Seanan Clucas and Mark Timlin are suspended tonight, while Ryan McBride, Philip Lowry and Stephen Dooley continue to struggle with injury.
However, with Patrick McEleney back in the fold, and with Derry going into tonight's game on the back of a 3-0 victory over non-league Edenderry in the FAI Cup, there is at least something to build on.
"The win over Edenderry will do the players' confidence no harm, especially the young boys," said Hutton. "We deserved the win and it gives them a boost going back into the league campaign. There are a number of positives to take and it's important that we build on that.
"It's going to be a tough game against St. Pat's and it's the start of three games in seven days for us. It's the last thing we need, especially when we are down so many bodies. We would have been glad to get into the break and got a few players back, but now we have these three games in quick succession, which certainly doesn't help."
The league form of St. Patrick's has been far from stellar also, with Liam Buckley's side already 16 points behind league leaders Dundalk. They remain in the FAI Cup, however, after victory over Shamrock Rovers last week, and Hutton warned that they are not to be discounted.
"They are still a very good side," he said. "They had a good win over Shamrock Rovers last week and by all accounts they should have won by more."