Derry City are hoping to grab pole position in the race for Europa League qualification when they face Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght this evening. The Candystripes can go eight points clear of Rovers with only eight league games remaining if they can repeat the victory they managed at Tallaght in March, when the late Ryan McBride scored the only goal in a 1-0 win.
erry go into the game on the back of superb recent form, with successive victories over Bohemians, Finn Harps and Limerick. City have also managed three successive clean sheets and boss Kenny Shiels acknowledged that his team are finding form ahead of a huge period in the season.
Derry face Rovers tonight before consecutive games against champions Dundalk in both league and cup.
"The next three or four weeks - in fact August is a pivotal month," he stated.
"There's FAI Cup and league games and in our case even more so as we are playing the team that is second, in both league and cup, and the team in fourth (Rovers), so those three games will determine what way our season is going to pan out.
"I have been pleased with the commitment of the players," he added.
"The big Tallaght pitch is a pitch which our boys like playing on, but we'll see as the support can be very intimidating. However, the boys are looking forward to the game."
City will be without Nicky Low through suspension, which means youngster Rory Holden could start in midfield.
"Nicky being out is a big blow, because he's pivotal to the way we play, but we have got good players to come in," he added.
"We have got Rory Holden who's a good player and it's a great opportunity for him.
"Rory, Ben Doherty and Conor McDermott are absolutely brilliant and are three young lads I signed on three-year professional contracts last year. I would expect those three teenagers to start and I'm proud of the progress that they are making."