Kenny Shiels: Schedule gives Dundalk cup advantage over Derry

Derry will travel to Oriel Park and Cork travel to play St Pat’s in FAI Cup semis

Stephen Kenny’s Dundalk will play Derry in the semi-finals of the FAI Cup. Photograph: Inpho

Stephen Kenny’s Dundalk will play Derry in the semi-finals of the FAI Cup. Photograph: Inpho

 

Derry City boss Kenny Shiels has claimed that his side will be at a disadvantage when they play Dundalk in the semi-final of the FAI Cup as they have, he insists, played more games and had to travel more than the league leaders in recent weeks.

“We’ve played four more games in the league - well, that’s down to three now - and had a run in the League Cup, which they didn’t have,” he told BBC Radio Foyle shortly after the draw for the semi-finals was made and his side was handed a journey to Oriel Park at the start of October.

“They’re crying about having to go to Amsterdam but I’m sure my players would prefer to get on a plane for a one and half hour flight than take a six hour bus journey for the second time in a week (a reference to the fact that, having beaten Wexford Youths in the cup at the weekend, City must head to Ferrycarrig Park again this week for a league game).

“I hope that they won’t have an advantage because we’ve done more travelling than them, I really do.”

In an interview that former Derry boss Stephen Kenny is sure to find interesting, Shiels argued that Dundalk have a far bigger squad and that their tougher European trips won’t come until well after the semi-final. “I think their trips don’t get really tough until St Petersburg, the big journeys are all after the semi-final,” he said.

“Our players will be tired. And they have two squads (including his recently arrived son Dean). Of the three possible opponents we could have had, all are littered with former Derry City players so we’re going to be up against it because we will be playing against quality players who have left Derry City.”

Shiels admits that his side was “embarrassed,” when the two sides last met, back at the start of July with Dundalk winning 5-0 at the Brandywell, “but we haven’t lost since (in 10 league or FAI Cup game, they were beaten by Limerick in the League Cup) and we’ll give a good account of ourselves this time. I would imagine that Dundalk are not happy with this draw because they’ll know that we will probably dominate possession and that’s something that they’re not use to.”

The semi-finals include the four teams to have contested the last two finals and the other match will involve the team that lost to Dundalk, Cork City, heading to Inchicore to take on the 2014 winners, St Patrick’s Athletic. The games will take place on Sunday, October 2nd and both will be broadcast live.

FAI Cup Semi-Final Draw:

Dundalk FC v Derry City

St Patrick’s Athletic v Cork City

Both fixtures to be played on Sunday October 2nd.

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