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Shiels believes Candystripes can still book European spot

 

By Eoin Wilson

Kenny Shiels is refusing to give up on the prospect of qualifying for Europe despite Derry City lying in seventh place in the table.

Traditionally, the top three teams in the division earn a Euro spot, but that has been extended to four in recent years due to Dundalk and Cork City continuously reaching the FAI Cup final.

That scenario could again be repeated with Cork and Dundalk in the semi-finals, but with Waterford's eligibility for Europe now up for question, there has been speculation that even fifth place could qualify this term.

That is the lifeline that Shiels is grasping for as City's season threatens to fall apart after the FAI Cup quarter-final defeat to Bohemians in midweek. Despite winning the EA Sports Cup against Cobh Ramblers last Sunday, the Candystripes have been in freefall, particularly since the beginning of May, with just 13 points accrued from a possible 48.

"I think we were short-changed against Bohemians," said Shiels. "If you look at the game, the boys fought to get back into the game and we had a blatant penalty turned down. I was disappointed for the players because of their commitment and their effort.

"I don't care what people say about me because it's what we do as a team and I think they have done the city proud. We must have scored 100 goals this season but we have just slipped up in the league a little bit."

Ally Roy, who was substituted immediately after scoring against Bohemians on Wednesday night, is back in contention for City, while defender Dan Seaborne, who sat the game out in midweek, could also return.

Derry City vs Shamrock Rovers

Airtricity Premier Division:

Brandywell Stadium, Today, 5.00pm

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