Tuesday 23 October 2018

Shiels calls on Derry fans to stand by their team

Derry City Manager Kenny Shiels. Photo: Sportsfile
Derry City Manager Kenny Shiels. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Considering Derry City's patchy form on the pitch, the last thing they needed as they embark on their latest European journey were any off-field distractions.

The Candystripes supporters were angered after the club decided to increase the price of tickets from £15 to £25 for tonight's clash against Dinamo Minsk, which resulted in the club's chairman Philip O'Doherty criticising those who were calling for a boycott of the game.

A banner that was unfurled in protest during last week's win over Limerick added fuel to the fire, but manager Kenny Shiels has urged the Derry supporters to get behind the team for what looks like a very tricky test.

Minsk have only lost one of their 15 league games, which is in stark contrast to Derry's inconsistent season.

"We're returning to the European stage and that's a very positive occasion for the whole club," Shiels insisted.

"We have new players in and a very young squad who have worked so hard to get us here.

"They need our supporters; we all do. I sincerely hope that every single person who is able to will come to the game and back us."

Shiels will be hoping that his recent new signings, including his son Dean, can inject fresh impetus into his side against a dangerous Belarusian outfit.

"Thankfully it is different this season than last - the first game is a bit later this time so players signed early in July are available," Shiels said.

Minsk manager Sergei Gurenko, who played 80 times for Belarus, has already publicly said that he is expecting Derry to play a direct style.

He may be in for a surprise yet, especially if the hosts can settle into the tie early on at the Brandywell (kick-off 6.0).

St Pat's found out just how good Minsk are when they dumped the Saints out of Europe in the second round two years ago.

"Dinamo Minsk are a quality side and we definitely have our work cut out in both games," Shiels added.

"I will be asking a lot of the players to ensure that we do everything we can to make this a memorable occasion. I just really hope that our supporters do everything they can to back us."

Irish Independent

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