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Friday night’s match in the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium is now SOLD OUT. The game is available to watch on RTE2 and the RTE Player. Kick off is at 7.45 pm.
Were you delighted to start the league campaign with a win on Friday?
Yes, I was delighted with the three points and the clean sheet. For a large part of the game, I felt we were good, so I was delighted with the win.
You made three changes with Andy Lyons making his debut, Pico being brought back in earlier than you’d planned and Rory Gaffney up front. Did they make a difference?
All three of them were good, but everyone was better from the previous week. As I’ve said before, the group is strong and whoever plays it is just about trying to perform, winning and getting the three points on the board.
Did you feel it was a very fluid performance and that you saw the improvements you wanted from that Pat’s game?
For a large part of the game, I felt we were good, scoring three and didn’t concede, and I felt that we had more, so yes, definitely a level of up from the week before. We know it’s only early, but definitely an improvement.
It was two really good headers from Sean and Danny and should the two perfect deliveries from Jack Byrne get a special mention as well?
We know that the delivery is always there with Dylan and Jack, so it’s just about making sure that our timing is good, and on Friday it was. Sean’s was from a set play and Danny’s from open play, but it’s in the delivery through a set play, so good timing and happy that we scored the two headers.
Danny could have had a hat-trick and there were other opportunities but was it good to see Graham Burke came off the bench and make an impact as well as he made it 3-0?
It was great to see Graham back on the pitch. He’s a little bit behind the rest of the group, in terms of preseason. We just have to ease him in, but we all know Graham’s quality, and we know what he brings to the team, he’s important in front of the goal, and he’ll be important for us this season, we just have to be careful with how we bring him back in over the next few weeks.
Did UCD show they will be a good side with the chances they created as Kerrigan could have scored twice in the first half if not for Alan Mannus?
Yes, and we spoke about that before the game. I think they showed on the night that they will fancy themselves to go to any ground and score goals because of the attacking players that they have, they showed that against us on Friday night.
Is everybody sensing a huge interest in this Derry game on Friday even though it’s so early in the season?
We just focus on the game in hand, like we always do, we don’t get caught up in what’s said outside. I’m sure people will want to watch two good sides, but we just focus on our performance and what we’ll bring to the game.
You’ve spoken before about how the Brandywell pitch suits us and our long winning run up there shows that?
We’ve always liked the pitch up there; it’s a big pitch and it suits how we play. We know it will be a difficult game, they have good players, there’ll be a full house, it’s their first home game and they have really high expectations this year, but we’ll go up and enjoy playing there.
It was so unfortunate to see Neil Farrugia come off with an injury in the first half of the UCD game. What’s the latest on Neil?
We’re just waiting to hear, he’s away at the moment, we’re just waiting to speak to the doctor.
Any other new injuries?
Nothing new. Sean Kavanagh is doing well, but still a couple of weeks away, other than that we are ok.