Stephen Bradley has praised the maturity of Shamrock Rovers man Jack Byrne over how he coped with his omission from the Ireland squad and claims that his midfielder is the best player in the country.
Stephen Kenny was in Oriel Park on Sunday night to see Byrne score twice in a 4-0 win for the Hoops which puts them eight points clear of Bohemians, with just five games left to play.
Byrne made his international debut under Mick McCarthy last year but did not make the cut when Kenny picked his first squad last month, a blow for the player but Bradley was impressed with Byrne's reaction on and off the field.
"Maybe Jack in the past, a few years back, would have reacted the other way and thought the world was against him but he's gone the other way," says Bradley, his side next in action at home to Sligo Rovers on Friday.
"He had a good conversation with Stephen (Kenny) when that happened and he was fine. I spoke to him straight after, he said 'I'm just going to keep my head down and keep working hard' and to be fair, he's done that. His performances have spoken for themselves.
"There's not a better player technically in the country, whether that's a set play, a dribble or a pass, he's different to anything in the country.
"I know Jack can play at any level. It's not in doubt for me. It''s not my job, Stephen will pick what he sees right," added Bradley, already focused on Sligo. "We can't be thinking mathematically. It's a good win but we go again against Sligo on Friday."
Sligo Rovers v Derry City (Showgrounds, 7.45)
TEAM NEWS: Derry are at full strength but could make changes. Injured trio Danny Kane, Darren Collins and Sigitas Olberkis are back in training with Sligo but this game comes too soon for them.
MATCH POINT: Two points from the last three games has caused Derry's European hopes to fade and they are dangerously close to the relegation zone. If they can repeat some of the form they showed away to Bohs on Friday they can deal with a Sligo side who are also in freefall.
REF: Neil Doyle
ODDS: Sligo 11/10, Derry 11/5, draw 11/5
VERDICT: Derry win