Obviously letting the two-goal lead slip in a derby was a terrible feeling for everyone. What did you think went wrong in the 10-minute spell?
We were obviously disappointed. We just came away from what we were doing really well for a few minutes, both in and out of possession, and it obviously cost us. We’re usually very, very good in those scenarios, if you look at our history, when we’re ahead we usually win games and we didn’t on Friday. We’re disappointed but it’s a point, it’s better than nothing and we move on.
It is seven points from three derbies which certainly isn’t the worst return. Can they sometimes turn on a dime like that despite how dominant and in control we were in the game at the time?
Any game can turn like that, but we’re experienced enough and we’ve played in enough big games to know how to manage those situations, and we just didn’t do that on Friday, which again is unlike us, but it happened. We’ve got to learn from that as a group and make sure it doesn’t happen again. We were so comfortable at that stage of the game and if anything, it looked like we were going to go on and add to the two goals that we got. We came away from what we were doing for six or seven minutes and it costed us the game.
The performances of Markus Poom and Leon Pohls, were they two big positives: Marcus with a stunning goal and Leon making some really important saves in the game?
I think both have been very, very good. Leon came in as second choice keeper to Alan and has worked very hard behind the scenes. When we put him in, we’ve seen him mature and progress every year that he’s been here. We felt he was ready and I think he’s shown that. Markus, the last two months has shown already the type of player he’s going to be for us. He’s been excellent. He really understands how we play, understands the league now. He’s been very good and I believe he’s going to get better. Both he and Dylan Watts were good on Friday.
You thought there was positive aspects of our general play as a team to take into Monday so hopefully we can follow that up against Derry?
Yeah, I thought some of our play was really, really good throughout the game. I know in the first half we hadn’t the end product to go with some of our good play, but I thought some of it was really good and we just needed to tidy up on the final bit which we did in the second half. But I thought in general a lot of our play that was really good. We know the areas that we need to improve and obviously the 6 or 7 minutes we really come away from what we were doing. We can’t do that but in general we thought our performance level was good.
It was a hell of a game for Dylan Watts to come straight back into after such a long day off. Was that a big call for you in your starting XI?
The only reason it would be a big call is because he hasn’t played any minutes at all in the last few weeks, and we’d had the break. So that was the only risk. Given his ability and everything surrounding that, it’s an easy decision but just that he hasn’t played any minutes was the only worry. He was really good and played to a really high level, which is really pleasing to see.
Are there a couple more injuries now with Ronan Finn and Gary O’Neil going into Monday?
Gary missed Friday and he’ll miss Monday. Ronan will be the same as well. And then there’s one or two other knocks that we’ll need to have a look at as well today in training, but that’s the way it goes. You get injuries at different points of the season for different players and you just have to get on with it and deal with it.
Trevor Clarke will be out after an operation but Aaron Greene is back in contention?
Aaron’s back training today. Trevor will go to London tomorrow for an operation. So that’ll be Trevor out for a couple of months at least, which is disappointing but hopefully his recovery and rehab is not too bad.
As for Derry, it’s been one win each this season, them at Tallaght and us at the Brandywell. What do you think was the difference in those games?
Very little. You see the scoreline but I think in general we were very good in both games. I don’t think people speak about our performance in Tallaght, it wasn’t off in any way but the scoreline says differently. We were very good in both games and we’ll look to bring that again to the table tomorrow night.
Given that it’s our last home league game until August and the fact that it’s against our nearest rivals in the table, does Derry feel like an especially a bigger game?
I don’t know how it feels from the outside, but nothing has ever changed with us. We focus on the next game, and every game is of the same importance to us. You don’t think any game is bigger or lesser than another game. I think that’s something that we’ve always been very good at and I don’t see that changing. How it’s perceived outside is fine, but we just focus on the next game.
Is it one the players and staff are really looking forward to?
Of course, it’s another good game but we genuinely look forward to every game. This is what you do. You have to show up every day, every week. You don’t try and get yourself up for certain games or take yourself down for other games. You show up every day and prepare the same for each game and Monday will be no different.