Derry City primed for Shamrock Rovers challenge

Derry City's Stephen Dooley
Derry City's Stephen Dooley

Derry City’s tough start to the 2015 Airtricity League campaign continues tonight at the Brandywell with the visit of Pat Fenlon’s Shamrock Rovers. (7.45 pm)

And having remained undefeated in their opening five league starts, Peter Hutton is hopeful of denting the Dubliners’ early season enthusiasm.

For their part, Rovers are going for their third consecutive victory while on the road and having conceded just one goal in those five starts, the “Candy Stripes” have it all to do.

Having scanned over Rovers’ first team panel, Hutton agreed that Fenlon was enjoying an embarrassment of riches with so much quality in this season’s squad.

“They’ve added former Birmingham and Republic of Ireland international, Keith Fahey, to the squad not to mention Killian Brennan and striker, Danny North, from Sligo, so they are not short on quality,” noted Hutton.

“Rovers are strong all over the park and their good start does not come as a surprise. I would expect them to challenge Dundalk for the title, but it’s early days.”

As has been the case this term, Derry continue to struggle with injuries.

Full-back Shaun Kelly (ankle) and wingers, Stephen Dooley (back) and Josh Daniels (ankle) have already been ruled out.

Aaron Barry and Seamus Sharkey both shipped knocks during the 2-0 League Cup win over Sligo last Monday and while the didn’t train until yesterday, both are expected to be fit.

“Our matches against Rovers have always been close, the last time we played them was winning the FAI Cup semi-final last season, so we’re not going into the game with any fear,” added Hutton

“We have players who will cause them problems.”