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Seeking response: Declan Devine was disappointed with City’s derby display

Seeking response: Declan Devine was disappointed with City’s derby display

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Seeking response: Declan Devine was disappointed with City’s derby display

Declan Devine has challenged his Derry City players to justify his belief in them when they host St Patrick's Athletic this evening.

The Candystripes were widely criticised for their performance in the 0-0 draw at derby rivals Finn Harps last week and are under mounting pressure to add to only three wins from 10 league games this season.

Devine knows what is at stake in the next few weeks and wants to see a lot of improvement.

"The good thing about professional football is that you can get over things quickly because there's another game on the horizon, and St Pat's has taken up most of my time and concern this week," he said.

"We reflect on every game and we speak honestly as a group, and we have to make sure that those types of performances aren't too common between now and the end of the season.

"We have to move on and try and get three points against what I think is a good St Pat's team.

"We need a response. We need to see more hunger and heart and desire and we want to see more quality and application to win football games. I've backed this group of players all along and I'll continue to do that because I think there's more in us than what we seen on Sunday."

Pat's are contending with some severe struggles themselves, having not scored a goal in their last four games. Three points could be significant for both teams as a result.

"The one thing I will say about St Pat's is that they have a lot of good players," continued Devine, who will be missing midfielders Gerardo Bruna and Joe Thomson through injury.

"They have a lot of players there who are capable of pulling out a bit of magic and doing something extraordinary in a game.

"We've got to make sure we stop their top players playing, but we also have to have our top players playing as well. We have to fight and scrap for every point that's on offer. We have a lot of games coming so we have to approach every one in the right mindset with a real hunger and desire for points."

Belfast Telegraph