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Derry City must learn and go again after loss to St Pat’s, says Ruaidhri Higgins


Ruaidhri Higgins

Ruaidhri Higgins

©INPHO/Ciaran Culligan

Ruaidhri Higgins

Ruaidhri Higgins wants Derry City to relish facing champions Shamrock Rovers next Friday.

The Hoops, who suffered a 2-0 loss at Slovan Bratislava in their Champions League first qualifying round first leg encounter on Wednesday night, haven’t hit top form this season but Higgins is expecting a tough test and he wants his young squad to learn from their weekend defeat at St Patrick’s Athletic.

Despite having a man advantage for the final 30 minutes, the Candystripes were unable to cancel out Chris Forrester’s first-half strike.

“I’m disappointed with the loss, as I felt in the first half there wasn’t much in the game,” said boss Higgins.

“We had a couple of good chances and in the second half when they went down to 10 men, we didn’t do enough, we weren’t creative enough and our movement ahead of the ball was poor.

“We have to learn from it. We have young players and we have to sense those opportunities and when we go 11 versus 10 with anybody then we have to be more clinical and take individual responsibility within that, but I can’t be overly critical of the players as they have been brilliant for a period of time.

“Although we weren’t brilliant, we kept going right to the end and that’s what we’ll need to do against Rovers next week but, to be fair, this group of players do that in every game, so we move on from St Pat’s and learn from it.”

The City chief was also pleased that Derry were able to announce that Patrick McEleney is returning to his hometown club after the talented Dundalk midfielder signed a pre-contract deal and Higgins isn’t giving up hope of getting his man during the July transfer window.

“I think it’s important when good players become available, especially local players, that we act on it quickly and try to attract them to the club and on this occasion the club have managed to do that,” he added.

“I think the two chairmen have been in touch but I can’t shed any more light on it and there’s nothing close to being agreed. At this minute in time, I’ve no idea.”

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