THERE is no let-up in the hectic schedule this week as Derry City and Dundalk are set to do battle in their SSE Airtricity League contest this evening (kick of 7.45 pm.
Another sell-out crowd is on the cards as the home side bid to close the 7-point gap between themselves and Stephen Kenny’s team in 2nd place in the table, albeit the Candystripes have played one game less.
Kenny Shiels says his backroom staff are continuing to monitor the fitness of a couple of his players which would therefore mean he won’t finalise his starting XI until that picture becomes clearer.
The City boss has already expressed concerns about the current workload for his players and said he wouldn’t shy away from making changes if he felt that was necessary.
“Of course this is another huge game but we have a young and fairly inexperienced squad and it is my job to manage these things.
“Dundalk are a quality side and they will pose a different threat from some of the other sides competing at the top of the league.”
“We have to prepare for the game as well as we possibly can just as we do for every opponent.”
City will be looking to protect their unbeaten home record but with two draws and a defeat in the last three games the boss is mindful of the need not to lose further ground on the teams above City in the table.
City drew 2-2 with the Lilywhites earlier in the season and twice came from behind to take a point from Oriel Park.
It was an impressive performance against a side which had only conceded once in the first ten games of the season.
Dundalk scored in the 89th minute to grab all three points against Sligo on Friday and they will be hoping to continue their good form when they visit the Brandywell.
Shiels also complimented the fans.
“Our supporters were superb on Friday night against Cork and that gave the players – especially the younger ones- a real lift.
“I hope they come out in the same numbers and with the same intensity on tonight as that would mean a lot to us,” he added.
With this week also marking the 29th anniversary of City’s treble-winning season, several former players have organised a bucket collection at this evening’s game in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.
Former City captain Felix Healy said that the donation was being made on behalf of treble winning Manager and stalwart of both clubs- Jim McLaughlin.
Healy, along with Jack Keay, Liam Coyle, Paul Carlyle, Harry McCourt, Kevin Deery, Marty McCann and Paddy McLaughlin will all be involved in the collection which has the full backing of Derry City FC.Tags: