FAI Cup success the most likely Euro route for Derry City
Under pressure Derry City meet St Patrick’s Athletic tonight knowing defeat in this FAI cup tie will all but end their hopes of European football next season.
Although the CandyStripes have the EA Sports League Cup final to look forward to next month, they are in dire straits in the league, having lost 11 of their last 16 games since the beginning of April.
Defeat by Waterford last week means City’s chances of securing third place in the Premier Division are slim, with eight points the difference and just seven games remaining.
That leaves the FAI Cup as City’s most realistic option, but Canadian winger Ben Fisk is adamant both paths remain open.
“The reason I came to Derry City was the opportunity to win trophies,” he said.
“At the time I came we were in the semi-finals of the EA Sports Cup and we still had this to come and the opportunity to progress in this competition and maybe get to another cup final is massive so I’m really looking forward to it. I definitely don’t think we’re out of the race for Europe in the league.
“I know that eight points is a big gap but losses for Waterford and two wins for us and that’s just two points again. Qualifying for Europe is one of our goals and we would like to keep both avenues open to try and do that.”
City defeated Blarney United 12-2 in the last round of the cup, a record scoreline in the competition, but the draw has not been so kind this time with the Candy Stripes meeting St Pat’s in the only all-Premier Division tie of the round – although Derry have won both league games at the Brandywell.
Derry City vs St Pat’s Athletic
FAI Cup second round:
Brandywell Stadium, Tonight, 7.45pm