'Angry' Kevin Deery says questions must be asked of Derry City players

Derry Assistant boss, Kevin Deery was angry at the manner of City's defeat in the North West derby.
Derry Assistant boss, Kevin Deery was angry at the manner of City's defeat in the North West derby.
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AN 'ANGRY' Kevin Deery didn't mince his words after Derry City's derby defeat against Finn Harps at Ballybofey.

The City assistant manager claimed the manner in which the Foylesiders lost against North West rivals Finn Harps was 'a sin' as they were punished for failing to clear a long throw-in which led to Harry Ashcroft's 67th minute winner.

And Deery, who took charge of the team in the absence of the suspended Declan Devine, said questions must be asked of the City players who 'lacked conviction' on the night in what was a toothless performance in front of goal.

However, it was his side's defensive display which led to Harps' winner midway through the second half which hurt Deery the most.

"If you don't have the courage to come up here and clear a long throw out of your box then you're going to be done," said Deery. "That's a sin. Alright there wasn't a lot in the game and we probably didn't do enough to win it but a long throw into our box and you don't have the courage to head it out to prevent their main threat, come on!

"It was just a lack of conviction to get the ball in the penalty area. It's a sin to be honest."

Deery, who made 302 competitive appearances for his hometown club, had never lost a contest against Finn Harps and he claimed he was 'hurting' as the Donegal men ended the Candy Stripes' eight match unbeaten run.

"You can say what you want but if you haven't got the bit between your teeth in every game, especially a derby game up here, if you leave things to chance and hope you're going to do something, you'll end up desperately frustrated playing in front of them the whole night. Nobody went, 'right I'll get us into the game here'. It has to be addressed. It needs to be better than that for sure.

"I've been involved with this club a long time and I think this is the first time I've lost to Finn Harps and I'm angry and hurt here at the minute. I hope that's the same scenario with all the players. Having said that we have to bounce back against Waterford now. It's desperately disappointing."

Similarly to the scoreless draw against UCD at Brandywell a fortnight ago, Derry lacked a cutting edge in front of goal and rarely tested Harps keeper, Mark Anthony McGinley. Deery insists the players knew exactly what to expect from a well organised, determined Harps team and expects those issues to be addressed quickly.

"I felt our preparation was good all week. We spoke and worked on what we were up against. On the night, did we have enough about us? Did we go into our shell a bit? There's questions to be asked definitely tonight.

"It's hurting now and I'm really angry but I've got to control that. The players have given us a lot. Finn Harps did a job on us. We didn't defend a long throw-in into the box and that was all that was in the game.

"We've got to play with a lot more urgency and fight and determination. We shouldn't be coming up here and getting beat but we did tonight and we've go to take it on the chin."

While he was clearly frustrated about the performance and result as they failed to make up ground on third placed, Bohemians, the assistant boss was adamant Derry could bounce back in the race for Europe.

"We can't be too down. We have to look at the bigger picture and we're in a good position. We're two points off what Derry managed to accumulate all of last year. That's probably where you have to be upbeat.

"We lost against our biggest rivals and we don't do defeats against Finn Harps but we've got to put it right on Monday night. A couple of days in football is a long time but we can't go back to back losing games.

"There's 30 points to play for still. There's been plenty of praise on the group so you take that on the chin, let it hurt and then you come again.

"We'll come hard on Monday night. I know the players are hurting and if they aren't they need to come and have a chat. It's not in our DNA to come here and throw away points."