Kenny Shiels: 'We tried to be creative and inventive - they came to be resilient and keep what they have'Sun, May 13 2018
In the aftermath of Friday's scoreless draw with Cork City at the Brandywell, a bewildered Derry City boss Kenny Shiels took his time to gather his thoughts.
In what was a game of inches, the margins proved heart-stopping in the dying moments as Aaron McEneff hit the post before Sean McLoughlin fumbled chance at the other end.
Gathering it all in, Shiels praised the visitors as he looked back on his side’s dogged draw with the champions.
“I don’t know why we didn’t go in with more conviction to get the touches on the ball,” said Shiels.
“The cross from Aaron hit the back post and the same against Bohemians. But they’re true champions. They showed good resilience against us. They’re away from home.
“Okay, they didn’t have a midweek game like we had, but they’re away from home and they came here and were very resilient.
“They showed that they’re true champions. Not many teams have come here and contained us like they did”
Shiels laid down a marker for his squad, focusing on tonight as a view for the future over hindsight, with the need to further push for success for his side,
“The performance was good but we have to put demands on ourselves to be better than good. You draw 0-0 with Cork, you don’t want to go away and think that we are happy with that.
“We can’t be setting those standards. We want to be beating teams at the top and we didn’t achieve that.
“I think that on the balance of play we where slightly better because there was two different games.
“We dominated procession and tried to be creative and inventive, and they came to be resilient and strong and keep what they have.
“They probably did theirs better than we did ours.”
A key positive, upon which Shiels was keen to draw, was the atmosphere created inside a sold out Brandywell.
“Someone said today that we haven’t lost in the Brandywell for a year and a half and it will be two years in July.
“The crowd were exceptional. They got us going and kept us going. The young players especially, they kept us going with the encouragement.”
Shiels shunned questions of his side breaking the mound of the ‘big two’ following his previous draw away to Dundalk, with the Candystripe faithful preferring to draw upon those sides' mentality.
“Definitely not [title contenders]. FAI Cup maybe: you get a couple of lucky draws and get through. But we are not as resilient as Cork and Dundalk without a doubt.
“They have a different way of winning. Cork could have got a touch at the end and got a goal to win the match. Everyone will say how well they played and how they won well.
“It’s a totally different game to what we play. It’s not a criticism, it’s a totally different game. How they play is to be solid first and foremost.
“We play with more freedom of expression because we are in the entertainment business, you want people to come and be entertained and their emphasis is on winning.
“I’m not knocking them for that, it’s a good way too be. You have to be a winner and you want champions around you.
“That’s a good way to be. They showed that tonight. It’s a tough venue for them to come to.”