Manager Devine confident Derry City can test Trabzonspor’s mettle at the Brandywell
First goal will be crucial as Candystripes chase a two-goal deficit after first leg in Turkey
Derry City manager Declan Devine: “We believe we have a chance and should we score first, it should make it a very interesting match.”
Derry City (2) Trabzonspor (4)
Declan Devine is hoping to unleash Rory Patterson on Trabzonspor at the Brandywell tonight.
But the Derry City hitman who remains the leading scorer in the Airtricity League, faces a race against time on a hamstring problem which kept him out of the first leg.
“We’ll give Rory every opportunity to prove his fitness, but our medical people will decide in the end,” said Devine last night.
“He didn’t play in the first leg last Thursday so we always held the hope that he would be okay for the second leg but I’m not so sure he will make it.”
However, Derry skipper, Kevin Deery, who also missed last week’s 4-2 first leg defeat in Trabzon, will be involved in this evening’s squad.
“Kevin trained this week, but he does lack match fitness and while that is a concern, he will be in the squad.”
With Trabzonspor considered long odds-on favourite to progress, the fact that Derry netted two goals in Turkey has given the Candystripes great heart.
“We believe the tie is still alive and we hold the view that Trabzonspor will throw everything into attack during the early stages to end the tie as a contest.
“So we’ve got to be prepared for that. A 4-2 defeat in Europe is much better than a 2-0 loss, so we believe we still have a chance. However, the opening 20 minutes will be significant and we must not repeat our defensive lapses of last week.
“We will attempt to hit on the counter-attack and, as was the case last Thursday night, we must take advantage of any chances we create. We scored twice in their backyard, so the lads are confident that they can score again against them in the Brandywell,” added Devine.
“I think they have already received a culture shock when training in the Brandywell last night.
“They believed the pitch they were training on was our training pitch and that Thursday night’s game would be played in Celtic Park, the Derry GAA ground which is situated quite close to Brandywell Stadium!
“They boast an annual budget of $70 million, roughly £1 million per week and the luxurious facilities they enjoy in Turkey are a little bit different in this part of the world.
“But, despite the difference in quality and technical ability, we believe we have a chance and should we score first, it should make it a very interesting match,” concluded the Derry boss