Belfast Telegraph

Devine determined to emulate his predecessor with League Cup win

 

Final ambition: Candystripes manager Declan Devine
Final ambition: Candystripes manager Declan Devine

By Eoin Wilson

Waterford stand in the way of Derry City and another appearance in the EA Sports League Cup final when they met this evening.

The Candystripes are current holders of the trophy having won it last year under Kenny Shiels and hopes are high that they will make a cup final in the first year of the Declan Devine era.

City moved into third place in the Premier Division with a win over UCD at the weekend and are showing good form going into the most challenging part of the season.

Devine though has warned his players to beware a 'hurt' Waterford team who will come to the Brandywell tonight determined to end Derry's ambitions.

City eased to a comfortable 2-0 league win over the Blues just seven days ago but Devine does not believe tonight's semi-final will be in any way similar, and is expecting a much closer contest.

"They will be hurting from last Monday night and they will be fresher than us having had a free weekend," he explained.

"I know Alan was at the game. He's a good friend of mine and he's a winner. He's a very shrewd manager and he's a person who will be very determined to get to a final himself.

"The one thing I will say is that the players have been absolutely brilliant in their drive to succeed so it would be a fitting reward if we could get a win, but we certainly won't be underestimating Waterford.

"We're in a semi-final in the Brandywell and it's certainly one you don't want to lose. We have an opportunity to get to a major cup final. It's an opportunity for us as a new group of players and new group of staff. We have been excellent here over a long period of time and this is an opportunity which must not be wasted. It would be another step in our development if we could get to a final."

Devine is set to name a strong team for tonight's game with only Junior Ogedui-Uzokwe missing out through injury.

"I don't see wholesale changes," he said.

"This is a game we're taking very seriously. People expected us to make changes in the last round against Finn Harps, but that was a north west derby and we sneaked through it having not played well.

"That was a very strong side we put out and I'd imagine it will be a very strong side we will put out in this one as well."

Derry City

Waterford

EA Sports Cup semi-final:

Brandywell Stadium, Tonight, 7pm

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