Premier Division: Derry City v Limerick (Fri)

Conor McDermott and Rory Patterson
Conor McDermott and Rory Patterson are injury doubts for Friday's home game against Bray
League of Ireland Premier Division
Venue: Brandywell Stadium Date: Friday, 16 March Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Foyle 93.1 FM and the BBC Sport website

Derry City boss Kenny Shiels says a second home win in four days on Friday night when they face Bray will give his side crucial momentum after their slow start to the League of Ireland season.

Ronan Hale's hat-trick saw Derry return to the redeveloped Brandywell on Monday with a thumping 5-0 win over Limerick.

Shiels wants more of the same on Friday night against bottom-placed Wanderers.

"It was certainly a good display but we have to follow that up with another," Shiels told BBC Radio Foyle.

However, the Derry boss is not expecting a comfortable evening despite Bray's currently position in the Premier Division table.

"Tables are not worth reading at this time of year after five games. They went to Dundalk and got a 0-0 draw which was a very good result. Not many teams do that and they have got really, really good players."

The Derry boss may have to make enforced changes for Friday's contest with striker Rory Patterson and midfielder Conor McDermott both doubts because of niggles.

On the plus side, close-season signings Gavin Peers and David Hopkirk could be available after being ruled out for the opening weeks of the campaign by injury.

After two wins and three defeats in their opening five games, Derry lie seventh in the table but Shiels points out that their four opening matches were all away because of the delays in getting the redevelopment Brandywell ready for action.

"If you win your home games and draw your away games, you will be right up there for a European position," adds the Candystripes boss.

"That averages out as two points a game. Away from home, we have three points from four games so far and three points from our one home match so we are not that far off.

"With so many away games, it's been difficult but now we are back on track at home and we can prepare better."

International call-ups mean Derry's scheduled games against Dundalk and Cork City next week have been put back to May and June respectively so the Candystripes' next Premier Division contest will be the home match against St Patrick's Athletic on 30 March.

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