Kenny Shiels wary of underdogs' threat in Derry City's big final push
Kenny Shiels is hoping to lead Derry City to their first cup final under his charge by defeating Limerick in tonight's EA Sports League Cup semi-final at the Brandywell (7.45pm).
The Candystripes are favourites to reach their first League Cup decider since winning the trophy back in 2011, but it will be far from straightforward against the First Division's runaway leaders.
Limerick have won 18 of 19 league games this season and sit 20 points clear of closest challengers Drogheda United, with a return to the Premier Division now a certainty.
"It's a really exciting game for us," Shiels said. "The last time we had this we fluffed our lines so I want to make sure that we give something back to the supporters. It's been a hard slog for everybody and we see this as a great opportunity for everybody. They are a good team and we can't ignore that. Their record this season has been phenomenal; it's almost immaculate apart from one draw, and we're in August so that's incredible.
"Our boys are not complacent because they have seen footage and they know the qualities that they have. They know their players and they are all good players so we have to make sure that we adapt to a team that's playing really well."
Shiels says he will take great pride if he is able to take the club's younger players to the first senior cup final of their career, with the likes of Ronan Curtis and Nathan Boyle yet to experience a final with their home town club.
"It would be great to these young boys to a final because it's something they haven't experienced," he explained. "It's a chapter within their learning and it's poignant that it could happen."