UCD AFC welcome Derry City to the UCD Bowl on Friday evening, kick off 7.45pm
The Students are back in action this Friday after having a week off due to Monaghan United’s withdrawal from the league and Martin Russell’s men will be hoping to pull away from the foot of the table when they host the Candystripes. Last time out, UCD were held to a 1-1 draw with Dundalk, a result which saw them remain bottom of the standings but speaking to ucdsoccer.com, manager Martin Russell believes his side should have got more from the game, a feeling which he has experienced a lot this campaign.
“Our last game out against Dundalk was disappointing in so far as we probably deserved to get more out of the game. I was very happy with our level of play and felt we really should have got something more than a point from the game. The difference between losing and drawing, and drawing and winning is so slight that we really need to start taking our chances.” Russell said.
Victory for the Students on Friday evening could see them leapfrog Dundalk as well as closing the gap on Bray Wanderers in 9th, who aren’t in action until Saturday. The visitors to the Bowl on Friday find themselves in fifth but haven’t won in three league games and were beaten in their last outing. However, Russell believes Declan Devine’s men will be a dangerous proposition following their home defeat to Drogheda.
“Derry will be looking to bounce back from their recent defeat and we need to be ready for this. Games against Derry in the last couple of years have been very enjoyable games and hopefully the same will apply on Friday with us getting the result we crave.” The UCD manager added.
At times this season, the UCD squad has been down to the bare bones due to injuries and despite the mid-season break allowing time for recuperation, Russell continues to have to work his way around the absence of key players but he admits it gives other players the chance to shine.“Like Derry themselves, we have suffered from injuries that have restricted my ability to name a full strength squad, but that is also a positive as it gives everyone in the squad a chance. It is up to our players to take that chance when it comes along.”
Graham Rusk has found the net seven times already this season in the league but continues to be side-lined with a knee complaint while long term absentee Ger Barron remains in the treatment room with a toe injury. Chris Mulhall and defender David O’Connor are both doubts for the visit of Derry due to injury and illness respectively while Mark Langtry is missing due to University commitments.
Injuries: Graham Rusk (Knee), Ger Barron (Toe), Chris Mulhall (Doubtful), David O’Connor (illness during the week hopes to be fit)
Absence as a result of University Course commitments: Mark Langtry