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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Aidan Fitzmaurice

‘I’m not giving up on anything’ – Ruaidhri Higgins bullish on Derry away record after disappointing home European loss

Derry City manager Ruaidhrí Higgins during the closing stages of their UEFA Europa Conference League defeat to Riga at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Derry City boss Ruaidhri Higgins believes that his side's away record gives them a chance of rescuing their European campaign in Latvia next week.

Derry face a struggle to make it into the second round of the UEFA Europa Conference League after a 2-0 home loss to Riga FA, a goal in each half from the visitors while City also had midfield man Matty Smith sent off.

They have lost twice twice away this season in the league and Higgins is confident that his men can up their game in Riga for the return leg.

"I'm not giving up on anything," said Higgins. "We have the best away record in the League of Ireland as it stands at the minute. It will be interesting to go out there and get the first goal. If you concede a third it's done. We didn't. So we need to go over there with the intention of trying to get the first goal and hopefully we grow from that. I'm not ruling out anything.

"I'm not giving up on anything whatsoever. If we go over there and play the way we can and get our noses in front then you never know," added Higgins, admitting that his side were second best.

"It was clear we were up against a good side as well and they've been around. I think they lost a playoff last year to get into the group stages so they've been around the block and have a lot of really good players but we know if we click next week and our best players perform to their capabilities then we can do something drastic. Our away record is very, very good but hopefully that can continue next week."

Higgins felt that midfielder Smith was harshly dealt with when he was sent off for a clash with Glody Ngonda "I've said to him, 'don't get involved.' It's petulance from Matty there's no doubt about it but you have to look at the incident, it's not a red card," said Higgins.

"He's silly to get involved. Our discipline this season has been exemplary, very, very good but there's no doubt about it. He's given them a decision to make and he's sent him off and I'll never know why."

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