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Derry deserve share of luck, says manager Brian McIver

By John Campbell

Derry manager Brian McIver would warmly welcome a rub of the green for tomorrow's must-win Allianz Football League Division One showdown against Mayo.

McIver, clearly frustrated with some refereeing decisions in particular which have gone against his side in the competition, believes it's time for the players to experience a change in fortune.

When they met Donegal in the opening round, the Oak Leaf side built up a 0-9 to 0-6 interval lead but then fell victims to an out of the blue Odhran MacNiallais goal and scored just three points in the second-half.

Then against Kerry, McIver's men were denied the services of the inspirational Mark Lynch when he was red-carded, a decision which baffled even the Kingdom team management.

And just when it seemed that Derry had turned the corner against Tyrone last Saturday, McIver firmly believes that Fergal Doherty was fouled in injury-time when in possession but play continued with Darren McCurry whipping over the winning point.

With just one point from three games, tomorrow's confrontation with a Mayo side that whipped Monaghan last weekend carries enormous importance for Derry.

Victory would throw them a Division One lifeline whereas defeat might all but open the trapdoor to Division Two.

"We are remaining positive. We will be at home and hopefully the team will play to its full potential and maybe we will get a few breaks," said McIver.

As well as having beaten Monaghan, Mayo have also claimed the scalp of Kerry but joint boss Pat Holmes is aware that Derry's plight will serve to make them difficult opponents.

"While it was nice to get that win over Monaghan, we have to take into account the fact that they were reduced to 13 players for the closing stages," said Holmes.

"We didn't do anything particularly different in training since we lost to Tyrone, a result that disappointed us. But our fitness is improving all the time and that's pleasing."

The Mayo side is spliced with seasoned players such as Donal Vaughan, Aidan O'Shea, Keith Higgins, Kevin McLoughlin and in Cillian O'Connor they have one of the best forwards in the country.

In all the circumstances, Derry will be quite happy to take a win - any win.

Belfast Telegraph


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