Tuesday 24 April 2018

Derry on 'road to redemption'

Stock photo: Sportsfile
Stock photo: Sportsfile

Declan Bogue

Derry go into today's All-Ireland football qualifier against Waterford conscious that victory could light the torch for a run that might conceivably take them into the quarter-finals.

The Oak Leaf side just missed out on a place in the last eight last year when they were beaten by a point by Tipperary in Round 4A of the qualifiers but even though they have lacked conviction this term, Damian Barton's side still retain the belief that they can thrive down the qualifier route.

However, Neil Forester, who is back from injury after missing the defeat to Tyrone, certainly does not pull his punches in outlining the difficult backdrop against which Derry enter today's tie.

"To be honest, we need a confidence boost at the moment. This season has been almost identical to last year, reaching the McKenna Cup final, a relegation fight and a tough defeat to Tyrone but last year we so nearly reached Croke Park at the end of that," he said. "We feel that the talent is there within the side, we just have to apply it and get over the line against Waterford first and foremost."

Not so long ago, a trip to Waterford would have been nothing more than a formality but it will be a lot different today. The Deise were unfortunate to lose to Cork by a point and are expected to employ a defensive strategy today with perhaps two sweepers

"We have to be ready for this but there is a good spirit in this Derry side despite that defeat to Tyrone and we know that this is the beginning of our road to redemption. We aim to make the most of it," added Forester.

Irish Independent

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