Belfast Telegraph

Derry deserve to finish third, maintains Shiels

By Eoin Wilson

Derry City bid farewell to Maginn Park tonight as their year in Buncrana comes to an end against St Patrick's Athletic.

A victory in their final game in Buncrana could seal a second successive third-place finish for the Candystripes, but only if Shamrock Rovers slip up at home to Limerick.

St Pat's need at least a point to secure their Premier Division status for another season, but Kenny Shiels is simply concerned with his own team and finishing a tough year on a high.

"It's important because we deserve to be third in my opinion," he said. "I'm sure Shamrock Rovers are thinking the same, but we will be going out to play as well as we can and be as committed as we possibly can.

"People talk about 100%. If we can give 100% then that's a good return so we'll see where that takes us."

The Derry boss believes third place would be an exceptional return given the circumstances the club have had to face in recent times.

He explained: "(Over the past two seasons) we have played 66 league games after Friday and 50 of the 66 games have been away from home, 16 have been at the Brandywell. To possibly be third but more than likely fourth and to qualify for Europe over the two seasons is a tremendous return and I commend the players and staff for that and the club and supporters, who got their reward.

"I'm really pleased for them because they have travelled the length and breadth of the country to support us.

"I think it has been a fantastic two years in terms of the circumstances. Fifty away games out of 66, heavens above, what an outcome we've got from that."

Derry could play a part in the relegation of St Pat's with a victory at Maginn, but with their Premier Division status still at risk, Shiels expects the visitors to be at full strength.

"Of course it's going to be tough because they need to get something from the game and they have got a good team," he said.

"We all know they are in a false position. I want the supporters to come and support their team. Our team will fight on every occasion."

Derry City vs St Pat’s Ath

Airtricity Premier League:

Maginn Park, Tonight, 7.45pm

Belfast Telegraph

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