Derry City boss Declan Devine will have his fingers firmly crossed that top hitman, Rory Patterson, will pass a pre-match test for tonight’s Europa League home fixture against Trabzonspor (kick-off 7.45pm).
Patterson has been troubled with hamstring problems emanating from a nerve in his back, but the player has managed to train yesterday.
“Rory didn’t play in the first-leg last Thursday so we’ve always held the hope he would be okay for the second leg,” Devine said. “He’s had treatment and he’s been involved in a light training session, so he will have a test before the game to assess his fitness. If he’s not fully fit, he won’t be involved, but I’ll be guided by our medical staff.”
Team captain Kevin Deery, who also missed the first-leg, will also be tested on a calf problem and while he had also been involved in light training, a place on the bench could prove to be his best bet.
Holding a 4-2 first-leg lead, the Turkish side are considered heavy favourites to progress but the fact that Derry netted two goals in Trabzon has given the Candystripes great heart.
“We believe the tie is still alive. A 4-2 defeat in Europe is much better than a 2-0 loss, so we believe we have a chance.
“In fact, if we could manage to score first with an early goal, then it will be interesting to see what develops,” smiled Devine.
“Obviously we will be up against it, but I’ve been told that we will have a full house inside the Brandywell and I’m hoping our supporters get behind from the start and let themselves be heard.
“They trained in the Brandywell last night and thought it was our training pitch.”
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