Derry City travel to Drogheda United tomorrow hoping for three points to keep them in with a chance of European football next season.
Ruaidhri Higgins’ team have lost just once in their last nine games, a run which has catapulted them from the bottom half of the Premier Division into contention for a European place.
With just six league games to go, the issues at top and bottom of the league already look finalised, but there is still a lot to play for otherwise with just three points separating City, Sligo Rovers and Bohemians. However, Higgins feels that any one of five teams could still sneak into third before the end of the campaign.
“I think (Shamrock) Rovers are basically there if we are being brutally honest and Longford are relegated,” he said. “St Pat’s have probably cemented second place but it’s crazy that with six games to go the other seven teams all have a lot to fight for.
“So much can change because whoever is in sixth or seventh place could still make a push for Europe if they put a good run together. It’s a season that I haven’t seen before and I’m sure that it’s going to be very exciting over
the last few weeks.
“The flip side of that scenario is if Drogheda beat us they go two points behind us. It’s unbelievable how close everything is but we need to simply focus on ourselves.”
Higgins has a 100% record against Drogheda in his short time in charge at the Brandywell, including two victories at Head in the Game Park — a league victory in May and an FAI Cup penalty shoot-out victory in July. There was very little in both games, and Higgins is expecting the same difficult challenge this time around.
“If we can pick up three points then we’ll put ourselves in a really good position but we have seen this year how mad the league is and how unpredictable it has been,” he claimed.
“Whoever shows the most consistency between now and the end of the season will end up in good positions and whoever doesn’t, won’t.”
City travel to Drogheda without defender Danny Lafferty, who misses out through suspension after getting sent-off last week in the win over St Pat’s, but on the plus side pacey winger Marc Walsh has returned to full training after recovering from his long-term hamstring injury.