EA Sports Cup: Brandywell final 'is something special'- Devine

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'Dundalk are huge favourites to win the game' - Declan Devine
EA Sports Cup final
Date: Saturday, 14 September Venue: The Brandywell Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Foyle 93.1FM and the BBC Sport website

Derry City manager Declan Devine says it will be "something special to play a cup final in your own backyard" as the Candystripes prepare to face Dundalk in the EA Sports Cup final on Saturday.

"I live half a mile from the ground and I believe the Brandywell can be a great leveller for this final," said Devine.

"We said at the start of the season we want our home ground to be a fortress.

"We have a sell-out crowd which shows the level of support we have had from the Derry public."

League leaders Dundalk go into the decider on the back of a remarkable 27-game unbeaten run but Derry boss Devine takes heart from the fact that the only two games the League of Ireland champions have drawn in that sequence have been against his team.

'Next target is to turn them over'

"We know Dundalk are huge favourites and a run like theirs is virtually unheard of but we take a bit of confidence from the fact we have drawn with them twice in the league and only lost our FAI Cup tie in the dying seconds of extra-time," explained the Derry boss.

"We have scored six goals against them in those three games and our next target now must be to turn them over.

"We have to make sure we play on the front foot. We want to make it difficult for them and we know we are capable of beating them given that our recent results and performances against them have been good.

Derry City manager Declan Devine and Dundalk boss Vinny Perth
Derry City manager Declan Devine and Dundalk boss Vinny Perth with the League Cup

"Dundalk have been ahead of us in a lot of games this season and we have shown real character and determination to come back at them.

"The aim now is not to give them anything to hold onto. The challenge is to go and stamp our authority on the game with our supporters right behind us from the start."

'Opportunity for silverware'

Derry have beaten Longford Town, Finn Harps after extra-time and Waterford after extra-time to secure their passage to the final.

"We have worked extremely hard to get to the final of this competition and we are under no illusions this is going to be the hardest game of them all.

"We haven't beaten either of the top two, Dundalk or Shamrock Rovers, and that's a statistic we want to put right.

"There is no better time to do that than when there is a trophy up for grabs."

Derry are hoping to retain the League Cup following their 3-1 success over Cobh Ramblers at the same venue last season and it is a competition which has been good to the club in recent years, with triumphs in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011.

"We treat this competition with the utmost respect - we don't field weakened teams in the early rounds but put strong line-ups out the whole way through the competition as we see it as an opportunity to lift silverware.

"There are only three cups to be won in the League of Ireland and this is one of them so we regard it very much as a major trophy."

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