Derry boss Devine looks forward to Rovers test
Derry City manager Declan Devine has had plenty of time to compose a plan for tonight's Premier Division encounter with Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght.
And he will have even more time to digest the outcome. Derry didn't play last weekend due to a Toulon Tournament related postponement and they are out of action next week too so their mid-season break essentially begins after tonight - their next league match is in Cork on June 28.
Devine is bemused by the schedule, but is looking forward to the challenge of taking on the Hoops who also had no game last weekend due to Toulon. As a consequence, they are now three points behind leaders Dundalk who take on Finn Harps this evening with last night's Irish match the reason for the Saturday schedule this week.
"They're the two best teams in the country right now and they've set the bar for the rest of us," said Devine, with a nod to the title chasers.
"I don't think we've been a million miles behind either of the top two in any of the games we've played, but to be fair to them they made that little bit of extra experience count.
"Rovers are a quality side and they're a seriously tough nut to crack, especially at home, but these are the type of challenges we have to relish."
Devine is still building his squad, with Derry unveiling Darren McCauley at a press conference yesterday. The local lad has come home from Inverness to sign an 18-month deal.
Rovers boss Stephen Bradley respects the impact that Devine has made since arriving back at the Brandywell over the winter.
"They've shown this year already that they're more than a match for anybody in the league," said Bradley.
"They'll come with a game plan and we've got to respect what they're good at it, but we'll focus on what we're doing really well. We've got to make sure we drive that home and get more points on the board."