Belfast Telegraph

Devine upbeat as his Candystripes bid to close gap on Rovers

Declan Devine
Declan Devine

By Eoin Wilson

Derry City can move to within two points of second place if they can finally get one over Shamrock Rovers tonight.

The Candystripes will meet Rovers for the fourth time this season, having managed just one point from their previous encounters.

The last clash between the teams saw Derry come from two goals down to save a point at Tallaght and City boss Declan Devine is hoping his players can go one step further this time around.

"Shamrock Rovers coming to the Brandywell is historically a huge game in Irish football," he said. "We have got to embrace that and acknowledge that it's second versus third.

"I felt we were very unfortunate to lose the first game at the Brandywell 1-0 as they had only one chance in the game and, when we watched it back, we had six or seven chances that we didn't take. I think we have got better since then and they have got better since then and, all in all, it is going to come down to who performs the best on the night."

Devine, who revealed yesterday that Argentinian midfielder Gerardo Bruna had signed a new deal with the club, does believe that Rovers will face the strongest Derry team they have met this season.

"As the season has went on we have definitely got better," he said. "We started off well and went on a few good runs but, squad-wise, we have been as strong as we have been last year and, player-wise, we have been as strong as we have all year. Performance-wise, I think we can get better but we're on a good run of form at the right time.

"We're going to have a crack at them and they are going to have a crack at us. It should be a very good football match but we want to continue the run that we are on. We have been very good at the Brandywell this year and we have played an expansive brand of football.

"This is not a defining game of the season because there are seven others and 21 points after it but if we can take three points it would leave us in a brilliant position leading into Dundalk coming the following week."

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