Derry City’s European adventure was short-lived as they feel at the first hurdle against FC Midtjylland. Yet Kenny Shiels feels it was a worthwhile experience overall. “We did well in Europe believe it or not. I know if you look at the scoreline it
Derry City’s European adventure was short-lived as they feel at the first hurdle against FC Midtjylland. Yet Kenny Shiels feels it was a worthwhile experience overall.
“We did well in Europe believe it or not. I know if you look at the scoreline it reads differently, but we had practically an Under 19 team in that second leg. People don't realise how inexperienced that team was. I thought they performed remarkably well,” explained Shiels.
Seven of the team who played against Midjtylland had played in the Foyle Cup last year, a testament to not only the challenge the Derry boss faced but the talent which the club are bringing through.
“It's so valuable for those young lads to have played in a competitive game of that nature. You can get friendlies alright, but a competitive game against a strong European team for the young players is priceless. I was nothing but proud of them for the way they played,” he said.
With Derry now focusing their attentions back to the SSE Airtricity League campaign, Shiels was less enthusiastic about his side's chances of making the top three.
“We are looking more at trying to consolidate and be hovering in and around the top four or five. We haven't got the same qualities as Shamrock Rovers have in terms of players or experience. Or Bray for that matter. We have to be realistic.”
The Candystripes currently sit in fifth position, and the former Kilmarnock boss can’t see his side catching Dundalk. He believes even finishing near Shamrock Rovers would be a massive achievement.
He concluded: "To speak about trying to get third is premature, and speaking about catching Dundalk is way out of our league. If we look at Shamrock Rovers, who have the best players in the country, then we have to be realistic.
“If we could get near to them it would be a fantastic achievement.”