Belfast Telegraph

Hegarty is looking for win bonus as Derry step up survival bid

By Ian Callender

Derry City will aim to take one step closer to Premier Division safety with victory over Cork City at Turner's Cross this evening (7.25pm).

With just five games remaining this season, the fight for survival is heating up with just five points separating the bottom five teams in the division.

Last week the Candystripes produced a shock result to defeat Shamrock Rovers and with Paul Hegarty now in charge until the end of the season at least, hopes are high that the change in management will lead to an upturn in fortunes at the Brandywell.

But there is still work to do and Hegarty is not one for resting on his laurels.

"We have to go and try to win the match and the way we'll be set up, we'll be going offensively to try and get an early goal," he said.

"I don't think we are in a situation where we can play and settle for a draw.

"We have to go and try and win the game from the first whistle.

"We have a good attitude in the team, the players have trained well and we'll have a go.

"We know what we're up against, because Cork are a very good side and they are sitting second in the league for a reason, but by the same token maybe they'll have an off day."

Results towards the end of each season are rarely predictable with teams battling for their lives as evidenced in Derry's recent victories over both St. Patrick's Athletic and Rovers.

With the emergence of striker Ciaran O'Connor and midfielder Conor McCormack, there is no doubt now that Derry City are a more dangerous proposition, which gives them belief going to Cork.

"It's always great when you win football matches and to be fair the players have been smashing," continued Hegarty.

"Training has been great all week and now we're looking forward to the Cork match.

"The Rovers result was a boost and we played well on top of that.

"They had a few chances and Gerard (Doherty) made a few saves but we had a lot of very good performances on the day."

There is no doubt however that Cork City are a bogey side for Derry.

In the last eight meetings between the clubs in all competitions, the Leesiders have won seven times and drawn once, with the last Derry victory coming over two and a half years ago.

Hegarty however, insists the past is the past.

"If you have a whole heap of experienced players, things like that would get up their nose but with young players all they're interested in is going and playing and doing the best they can," he explained.

"As a club Derry have underachieved for the last two years, there's no doubt about that.

"But things happen and changes happened and it's never down to one particular thing.

"We don't want to be looking back now.

"We just want to be looking forward and anything that has happened is irrelevant now."

Patrick McEleney is the only doubt for the Candystripes, the forward picking up a thigh strain in last week's win over Shamrock Rovers.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph