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Upbeat Peter Hutton hopes Derry can celebrate with style with FAI Cup victory


Poor run: Peter Hutton's Derry haven't won in 11 league ties

Poor run: Peter Hutton's Derry haven't won in 11 league ties

?INPHO/Presseye/Lorcan Doherty

Poor run: Peter Hutton's Derry haven't won in 11 league ties

On the night when Derry City officially celebrate 30 years in the League of Ireland, the club will be hoping to make it to the FAI Cup semi-finals with victory over Cork City.

On September 8, 1985, the Candystripes began life in the southern league after returning from the wilderness and there they have remained, becoming one of the most successful clubs with two league titles, five FAI Cups and 10 League Cups.

The 1985 Derry team will be in attendance for this evening's game, and the hosts will be hoping that their predecessors can bring them some much-needed good fortune against high-flying Cork.

Although John Caulfield's team have stuttered in their league title challenge recently, they remain determined to win their first FAI crown since 2007, as evidenced in the last round when they saw off holders St Patrick's Athletic.

Acknowledging the scale of the challenge facing his players, Derry boss Peter Hutton admitted that his team will be up against it.

"It's a big game at this stage of the season, we still have a lot to play for in terms of fighting for survival, as well as trying to do well in the FAI Cup," he said.

"We know it's going to be a difficult tie, Cork are a very good side, brimming with quality and experience but we are at home, so the onus is on us to go out and take the game to them and try to win the tie."

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Derry will be hoping it's a case of third time lucky as Caulfield's men have already secured two victories over the Brandywell side this season.

In fact, Derry have beaten Cork just once in the last 10 meetings, with tonight's visitors winning the last six games. However, the last time the two sides met in FAI Cup action back in 2008, the Candystripes emerged as winners after a penalty shoot-out.

"Cork are a formidable outfit, as they were last year," Hutton agreed.

"They have added to the squad and even in the summer they added Steven Beattie and Stephen Folan, the Dennehy brothers (Billy and Darren) are back in their ranks as well, so we know it's going to be a difficult tie, but I think on our day if we play to our capabilities we are good enough to beat anybody."

The Candystripes will be without Conor McCormack and Ciaran O'Connor, who are both cup-tied, and Philip Lowry, who is suspended. On the plus side, skipper Ryan McBride and Cillian Morrison return from suspension.

FAI Cup quarter-final: Brandywell, 7.45pm

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