Derry City manager Declan Devine hoping victory over Sligo Rovers will kickstart season
FAI Cup quarter final: preview
Derry City manager Declan Devine: “I feel that morale can certainly be lifted by reaching the semi-final of a cup.” Photograph: Inpho
After an impressive first half to the season which had them briefly top of the Premier Division table, Derry have slumped badly over the last couple of months, losing six of their last eight league games.
Their hopes tomorrow aren’t helped by the fact Sligo have a remarkable record against them this season and last, beating Derry in their last six meetings and are unbeaten against them in nine games.
“It’s been a difficult period,” Devine admitted. “Obviously we’ve lost a few games and we’ve been disappointed to lose those games, but the morale is very good within the camp.
“When you have such a young squad - 16 of our 24-man squad are under 23 or 24 - when you get into a run of losing games it can affect confidence very quickly. But I’m a firm believer that one good win can help you turn the corner.
“Our record over Sligo over the last number of years has not been good, but there hasn’t been much in the games between us this year.
“I feel that morale can certainly be lifted by reaching the semi-final of a cup. You could see what the cup win did for us last year. It’s been a tough time, but I’m a firm believer that one good victory can see you turn the corner.”
Defenders Stewart Greacen and Thomas Crawley, along with midfielder Kevin Deery, are out injured while Devine is struggling again at left-back with both Dean Jarvis and Eoghan Osborne carrying knocks.
“It’s great to have an Indian sign over a club,” said Sligo boss Ian Baraclough. “It’s obviously in their mentality that they’ve not beaten us for a long while. It doesn’t count for anything when the whistle blows, but we know we have it in our armory to go and beat a Derry side.
“They will come here refreshed having not played last weekend and possibly their focus is solely on the cup because their league form has dropped a little bit.
“They will have had a fortnight of being able to really focus on this competition and we’ve to work really, really hard to make sure we’re in the draw for the semi-finals.”
That semi-final draw takes place on the MNS programme on RTÉ Two this Monday evening.
RTÉ yesterday confirmed that they will screen both FAI Cup semi-finals live on Sunday, October 6th. The games will be shown back-to-back with kick-offs at 1.45 and 3.55. The FAI Ford Cup Final on Sunday, November 3, will also be shown live on RTÉ Two.
The Premier Division fixture between Derry City and Shelbourne which was postponed on Saturday, September 7, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, September 24, with a 7.45pm kick-off at the Brandywell.