Hutton eyes perfect start to Derry reign at Cross

There’s always been a rich and rewarding rivalry between Cork City and Derry City, but tonight’s SSE Airtricity Premier League clash at Turner’s Cross offers up an extra level of intrigue as, in what will be Peter Hutton’s first game in charge, the Candystripes will hope to show signs that there is life — and a better one — after Roddy Collins.

Hutton eyes perfect start to Derry reign at Cross

“We have had a really good week in training,” says Hutton. “It has all been about settling everybody down and drawing a line under what’s gone on. As far as we as a squad are concerned, that’s all in the past and we must start looking forward.

“As everybody in the country knows, Turner’s Cross is a difficult venue to get a result from, but I feel it’s the best away ground to play in. The atmosphere is always excellent and the pressure is always on the away side. I had some great days there in the past as a player and tonight I hope to have another great day as manager.”

Rory Patterson (suspension) and Patrick McEleney (knee) will miss out for Derry while Enda Curran (concussion) faces a late assessment.

For John Caulfield, there is concern the seismic changes at the Brandywell could make tonight’s game even more of a challenge for a Cork side anxious to bounce back from two consecutive league defeats.

“Peter Hutton coming in will give Derry a boost,” says the City boss. “When a manager leaves a club, there is always an instant kick and we have to prepare properly. The players who might not have featured much all along for Derry will have a point to prove, so it will be a difficult game for us.

“I am passionately appealing to the crowd to come out in huge numbers again. There has been a little bit of doom and gloom out there, but we are still in a very strong position. It is vital for us to get back on track.”

Darren Murphy is still sidelined with a hamstring injury but Caulfield is hopeful Colin Healy, who has also been battling a hamstring problem, will be available.

Limerick have parted company with vice-captain and striker Craig Curran ahead of tonight’s visit of third-placed Dundalk to Thomond Park.

The club confirmed yesterday the player’s contract had been terminated by mutual consent. Curran tweeted he couldn’t talk about his situation last Friday and Limerick said on Saturday that he was still their player.

Dundalk arrive in Limerick on the back of suffering disappointment in the Setanta Cup final last Saturday when they were beaten 1-0 by Sligo Rovers.

“We have to put that behind us now and we have to go to Thomond Park and acquit ourselves properly,” said manager Stephen Kenny. “Limerick are a very good side. They have good players and it will be a difficult game for us.”

In tonight’s other Premier Division games, UCD host leaders St Patrick’s Athletic and Drogheda United are at home to Bohemians.

In the First Division, it’s Galway United v Finn Harps, Shelbourne v Shamrock Rovers B (8pm) and Wexford Youths v Waterford United (8pm) All games kick-off at 7.45pm unless otherwise stated.

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