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Derry City will overcome the ‘obstacle’ of form, vows boss Ruaidhri Higgins ahead of Finn Harps clash


Ruaidhri Higgins. Credit: INPHO/Evan Treacy

Ruaidhri Higgins. Credit: INPHO/Evan Treacy

©INPHO/Evan Treacy

Ruaidhri Higgins. Credit: INPHO/Evan Treacy

Ruaidhri Higgins has backed his players to drag Derry City out of the slump they are currently experiencing.

The Candystripes have lost their last three games, won just twice in their last nine and have seen their six point lead at the top of the table disappear into a seven point deficit behind Shamrock Rovers.

Chasing Rovers is not a priority for Higgins however, as he attempts to figure out how to get his team winning again, something they have failed to so since thumping St Patrick’s Athletic 4-0 on April 29.

In the five league games since, City have managed just two points.

Higgins admitted to being “deflated” after the most recent loss at Sligo Rovers, where his team fell to a last-gasp winner, but he has backed his players to turn things around, beginning with tonight’s derby game against Finn Harps.

“If you can’t get the fire in your belly for this one then forget about it,” said Higgins, who is likely to be without the injured Cameron Dummigan, while Patrick McEleney also remains a doubt.

“We’ll be going all out to pick up three points.

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"We need the crowd right behind us, we need everyone sticking together and we’ll go and put on a real brave performance, that’s the aim.

“The club has moved forward but this is an obstacle now that we have to overcome and there’s no better way to try and do it than in a local derby at the Brandywell.”

Meanwhile, Harps boss Ollie Horgan is hoping to repeat last season’s performance at the venue, when his men shocked Derry in a 2-1 win.

“It’s no surprise at all that Derry City are up near the top of the table,” he said.

“They brought in some serious quality ahead of this campaign and have reaped the rewards.

“They’ll be eager to head into the break on a high note and will be looking to put us to the sword.

“We have to keep our heads up, keep battling and keep things tight at the back to give ourselves a chance in what will be a very, very difficult game.

“They say in derby games form doesn’t necessarily come into the equation so hopefully that bit of luck that has maybe evaded us in recent weeks goes our way and we can get a result.”

Fixtures (7.45pm unless stated): Bohemians v Drogheda United, Derry City v Finn Harps, Dundalk v St Patrick’s Athletic, UCD v Sligo Rovers, Shamrock Rovers v Shelbourne (8pm).

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