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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Paul O'Hehir

Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins hails 'brilliant win' in the lion’s den

Ruaidhri Higgins insists it is too early for ‘statement wins’ but still warned Shamrock Rovers that Derry City are coming for them.

The Candystripes beat the champions 2-1 at Tallaght Stadium last night with Ben Doherty and Jamie McGonigle scoring either side of a Johnny Kenny thunderbolt.

Derry were second best for spells but showed a killer instinct by taking their chances when it mattered and tightened up in the second-half to keep the Hoops at bay.

The win - Derry's first in Tallaght since 2017 - propelled them to the top-of-the-table ahead of Monday’s trip to UCD, while Rovers drop to second bottom after three games with Cork City up next.

It was the Hoops first home defeat in the league since May 2021 and Candystripes boss Higgins said: “It’s a brilliant win, a really, really brilliant win.

Action from last night's clash in Tallaght (©INPHO/Evan Treacy)

“They’re the champions three times in-a-row for a reason and you’re going to come under sustained periods of pressure.

“I felt by and large we dealt with it really well and we looked a threat going the other way. I think it’s a sublime goal that won it.”

Higgins continued: “We asked for a wee bit more courage at half-time. I felt we gave up possession too easily in the first-half which is not like us.

“And we definitely played with more courage and more belief.

“The second goal, Will Patching played an exquisite piece of quality, brilliant from Ryan Graydon who was a constant threat in the second half.

“And McGonigle’s finish was similar to the cup final finish - a great goal.

Derry's manager Ruaidhrí Higgins (©INPHO/Evan Treacy)

“We made a slight tactical change in the second-half to get hold of the game and get more bodies in central areas, where they can hurt you.”

But Higgins is refusing to get carried away by the significance of the result after only three games- even if it was against their chief title rivals.

“It’s too early to be talking about statement wins, but it’s a big win,” he said.

“We’ve gone away to Pat’s, away to Shamrock Rovers, and home to Cork and we’ve taken seven points. It’s a great start but that’s all it is.

“Your weekend is always easier when you’ve won but we’ve no time to dwell on it.

“We’re back to Dublin on Monday and UCD is a big game for us. There’s no point coming here and winning if we don’t back it up Monday night.”

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