Sunday 18 March 2018

Doherty braced for Turkish barrage

Gerard Doherty has been drafted in by Northern Ireland
Gerard Doherty has been drafted in by Northern Ireland

GOALKEEPER Gerard Doherty is expecting a busy night as Derry City face Turkish giants Trabzonspor in their Europa League second qualifying round, first leg encounter.

Doherty has already tasted the big time in European football when eight years ago he produced a man-of-the-match display for Welsh side TNS in the Champions League at Liverpool and he's expecting another busy evening in Trabzon.

"It's definitely going to be a busy night but you can't get worried about things like that," he conceded.

"I have been in the situation before, in fact a couple of times, yes I might have a bit more work to do but that will just keep me more focused and it's probably better mentally going into a game knowing that you are going to have to do stuff, so hopefully I can do it well.

"We have to go there and try and do a job, we know who we are playing and we know they are a big club, but we can't get caught up in all that, we just have to go and try to do our best.

"We watched them on DVD and they were playing against top players and they were still doing very well against them, but that's the whole thing about getting into Europe."

The 31-year-old feels that keeping the ball is going to play a big part in any success they might achieve and he hopes they'll be able to keep the tie alive for next week's return leg at the Brandywell.

"I know we are having good weather here at the minute and boys can't handle 25 degrees, so 40 is going to be a bit of a culture shock, that's going to be a massive factor as well, so keeping the ball is going to be very important.

"There's nothing you can do when they have the ball and you are going to be running around for a while but we need to just get our head around that."

The Candystripes will give the likes of Rory Patterson, Ruaidhri Higgins, Michael Rafter, Patrick McEleney and Sean Houston right up until kick-off to see if they can make it, while despite travelling skipper Kevin Deery isn't likely to feature as he continues to struggle with a calf problem.

Indo Sport

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