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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
John McDougall

Derry City boss speaks on Bolton Wanderers transfer target Eoin Toal's future after Riga loss

Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins admits he does not know if defender Eoin Toal has now played his last game for the club amid transfer interest from Bolton Wanderers

Toal, 23, has made more than 150 appearances for Derry and scored six goals. This season, he has turned out 20 times in the League of Ireland Premier Division and scored once.

Wanderers have already had a bid turned down for the defender already for a player they would like to sign this summer. The Whites retain a transfer interest in Toal and would complement options on the right hand side of the defence if a deal can be done at another time of asking.

READ MORE: Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt's five word response to Declan John Wrexham transfer speculation

Toal has been with Derry since 2017, but his contract with the club expires at the end of this November. It means as things stand he would become a free agent over the winter and Derry could only command a transfer fee before then this summer.

Toal played for Derry last night as the Candystripes bowed out of the UEFA Europa Conference League at the first qualifying round at the hands of Riga FC. Derry lost 2-0 on the night in Latvia with a 4-0 aggregate defeat.

Derry boss Higgins spoke after his side's loss last night and was asked if the game was Toal's last at the club amid interest from Wanderers following the club's exit from the European competition, after he was substituted in the closing stages. But the Derry boss - whose side are back in action on Sunday against Finn Harps in the Irish top flight - admitted he was not sure if it was, as he reflected on his side's loss and felt quality at the top end of the pitch decided the tie.

Asked if it was Toal's last game for the club, Higgins told the Derry Journal : "I don't have a clue.

"We knew if we were to come here and do something remarkable we had to score the first goal. In that opening 30 or 35 minutes we were the dominant team and could've possibly been 2-0 up during that period.

"At this level against their attacking players when you don't take your opportunities it comes back to bite you in the backside and that's what happened.

"Over the 180 minutes, Ramos the No.10 had three chances and scored three goals and that's the difference. I know the scoreline is 2-0 and 2-0 but I didn't think it was a fair reflection over the 180 minutes. That's what I believe.

"I hate pats on the back for losing matches. We've lost two games and I don't think there was an awful lot in the games but you would have say they've probably just shaded it.

"At the top end of the pitch they've got really outstanding footballers and good luck to them."

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