Victory over champions would be perfect tonic for Derry, says Cherrie
Dundalk v Derry, SSE Airtricity Premier Division, Oriel Park, Tonight, 7.45pm
Peter Cherrie has tipped Derry City to bounce back from Monday's defeat to Bohemians and end Dundalk's five-game winning streak when the teams meet at Oriel Park this evening.
The Candystripes have been largely impressive this season, but they fell short against Keith Long's side in losing 2-0 at the Brandywell.
The defeat came just three days after Derry beat Cork City by the same scoreline and, given the competitive nature of the division this season, goalkeeper Cherrie is not too downhearted by the recent setback.
"It won't keep us down at all," insisted the 35-year-old.
"We said what we needed to say in the dressing room afterwards, and there was nobody sitting there with a smile on their face, but we know that there's no point in dwelling on it. If we do that then we're in the wrong game.
"We've prepared well for the Dundalk game and got our mindset right and we've shown before that we can bounce back. Now we have a huge game to go and showcase the boys' skills at the home of the current champions. It's the games that you want to be playing in."
Declan Devine's new-look side have exceeded expectations so far this season and currently sit in fourth place.
Cherrie suggests that they have been able to play without pressure given the inexperience in the team.
"We go into every game the same," he explained. "We play with a freedom because we're such a new squad compared to everyone else who have been together for three, four, five years, and Dundalk are the same.
"They had a tough game when they came to the Brandywell and it isn't going to be any easier for them this time. It's going to be a good game because the boys will only use the disappointment of Monday to bounce back."
Tonight's game is the latest in a lengthy run of fixtures for the Candystripes which has taken them to Dublin twice and Waterford in the past few weeks. It has been a demanding schedule, admits Cherrie.
"We've played eight games in the last three weeks or so, it's a lot to ask," he acknowledged.
"Some guys have played every single minute and it led to a lot of tired legs and tired minds on Monday night.
"We ask questions of our boys and they have stepped up every single week. There were chances against Bohemians that we could have taken, but it just wasn't to be."
Ally Gilchrist could return to the City squad this evening after missing the last three games with injury, while striker David Parkhouse will return from suspension for what will be a real test.
"Every game is tough in this league," Cherrie added. "It would be nice to go and dazzle the crowd every single week, but there's always going to be games where you have to dig in and you have to win ugly or draw ugly.
"The boys were tired but we've had a couple of days and now we're looking forward to this. What a game to be a part of."