Ruaidhri Higgins believes his Derry City side’s performance in yesterday’s defeat by Shamrock Rovers proves they are on the way to becoming a “outstanding” side.
The Candystripes were up for most of the first half and part of the second, but a strong finish from the champions earned all three points, with substitute Danny Mandroiu putting Stephen Bradley’s charges top of the table with four clear points.
Higgins was reluctant to discuss his team’s chances of a title attack this season. However, he says the positive approach they have brought to the game is a reflection of their progress and the 37-year-old was optimistic about where he sees Derry going from here.
They are expected to get stronger in the summer and have also been denied the services of headline-grabbing winter recruits Michael Duffy and Patrick McEleney – Duffy has yet to play this season while McEleney has suffered more than one setback.
“We’re going to make it,” says Higgins. “I think if you take (a nod to Rovers) Danny Mandroiu, Dylan Watts and Sean Kavanagh off the bench, they’ve built them up over a period of time and you can see the fruits of that.
“We plan to build, we’re going to be a damn good team. I don’t think many teams come to Tallaght and play as openly, bravely and bravely as we have played and that will be a feature of the team for years to come.
“I certainly don’t want to stand on the sidelines and watch a negative team. It’s up to other managers what they do, but I definitely want to see a team that’s playing properly, that excites our fans and tries to play football. ” Right. This is only my opinion. We can go home or away against anyone.
“They (Shamrock Rovers) have that know-how, back-to-back league champions, they have players there who have won more than two leagues too. Look, we want to close the gap on Shamrock Rovers and I think we’ve done a lot.
“I’m really, really proud of the performance and I think it’s clear to everyone that we’re coming, we’re coming strong and we’re going to be a good team for the next few years. It is the beginning of a long journey and hopefully a really successful one.
“We’re very clear about how we want to move forward and we know we’re going to be an outstanding team. If we keep playing the way we’re playing and add that little bit of ruthlessness that we showed in Inchicore (4: 0 win vs St Pat’s), we’ll be a very, very good team.
“People want things yesterday, but that’s not how it works. We want to get there fast and if we need to bring one or two in the summer we will. It won’t be rushed, it won’t be reckless, and it has to fit the profile we’re looking for.”
Bradley conceded Derry was “very good” in the first 45 but felt an uncharacteristic performance from his side contributed significantly to that.
“We were really bad with our decision making,” he said. “Our decisions were bad, our passing was negative, we weren’t aggressive in everything we did and we looked indecisive and they took advantage of it. They were very good much more like us.
“The fundamentals were really, really bad in the first half but I thought in the second half we were a lot better in that regard. It wasn’t the staff, it was a collective. If you perform against a good team in detail, they will hurt you and in the first half they will hurt us.”
Bradley respects Derry’s quality but didn’t say they caused them more problems than any other side.
“I thought Pat’s in the President’s Cup gave us a real test,” he replied. “Who else? Dundalk wasn’t bad here and in the first half Derry was very good tonight.
“It’s very early, what’s that for 15 games? They have quality so we’ll see as the season progresses.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/league-of-ireland/we-are-going-to-be-one-hell-of-a-team-ruaidhri-higgins-bullish-on-derrys-future-despite-hoops-loss-41649393.html ‘We’re going to be a bloody good team’ – Ruaidhri Higgins is confident about Derry’s future despite the Hoops defeat