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Cassidy expects to see the real Derry stand up

By Micheal McGeary

It's often argued that you make your own luck in sport, but even Derry manager Damian Cassidy must concede that the All Ireland qualifying draw has been good to the Oak Leaf men.

After losing to Armagh in the Ulster Championship preliminary round in Celtic Park they were rewarded with a game against Carlow in Dr Cullen Park.

Even allowing for the number of injuries Derry boss Cassidy has to contend with, the Oak Leaf men should negotiate this hurdle.

For in the Allianz National League Carlow lost to both Leitrim and Clare and yet Cassidy has been around too long to make some wild prediction that might come back to haunt him sooner than later.

“The important thing is that we totally focus on getting our own game in order and then move on from there,” said Cassidy.

“For the last three weeks we’ve had a good response to training.

“They know in their heart of hearts that they are a better side than the one that lost to Armagh in Celtic Park.”

The one big plus for Cassidy comes in the shape of the return to the county colours of the irrepressible Enda Muldoon.

A lesser individual would have packed in the sport a long time ago, his body ravaged by injuries, but typically the big Ballinderry men will again adorn the county colours.

On the downside from a Derry perspective is the confirmation that Cassidy will have to plan without both Patsy Bradley and Fergal Doherty.

The Ballinderry clubman has been sidelined since the county’s Championship loss to Armagh last month.

Bradley is suffering a recurring back injury that threatens to rule him out for the remainder of the season.

In fairness to manager Cassidy he’s not using injuries as an excuse for the defeat by Armagh.

“I couldn’t fault the players in terms of effort for the performance against Armagh,” he said.

“It’s important that we go out against Carlow, settle down early and then stamp our authority on the game.

“The longer we allow Carlow to stay in the game the more difficult it will be for us so it’s vital we get on top early on and put the game beyond them.”

It’s a game the visitors should win with something to spare.

Belfast Telegraph


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