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Premier Division: Derry boss Ruaidhri Higgins wants 'special Brandywell night' for top-two clash

Ruaidhri Higgins
Ruaidhri Higgins

Premier Division: Derry City v Shamrock Rovers

Venue: Ryan McBride Brandywell Date: Friday, 15 September Kick-off: 19:45 BST

Coverage: Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio Foyle, BBC Sounds and online; follow text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

Ruaidhri Higgins has called on Derry City fans to make Friday's top-of-the-table meeting with Shamrock Rovers "a special Brandywell night".

Derry welcome Rovers to their home venue on Friday night with the Dublin side four points ahead of them at the top of the Premier Division table.

"We will need the home support behind us," Higgins said.

"The nights are getting darker earlier, the floodlights will be on and I love it when it is like that.

"It creates a real atmosphere and with Shamrock Rovers coming to town, hopefully we can make it a memorable occasion.

"With a brilliant home support behind us, hopefully it can be a real special Brandywell night."

Rovers, managed by Stephen Bradley, have dominated the League of Ireland in recent seasons and are aiming to win a fourth Premier Division title in a row.

Bradley said recently that when his side are on form, no other team can beat them, and Higgins opted to praise the qualities of both teams when asked about that remark from Bradley.

"Well it will be a good match, that's for sure, if we are at our best and they are at their best," Higgins continued.

"It would be some game of football. I'll back my group of players every night of the week and he will back his."

He added: "It certainly won't be easy. They are three-in-a-row champions for a reason, they know how to get it done and they know how to win.

"But we have been in really good form over the last few months and it is a game we are relishing."

With Derry going into Friday night's encounter at the Brandywell on the back of away wins over Dundalk and UCD, Higgins revealed that a discussion he and his squad had earlier in the season has helped put them in a position where they have a genuine chance of ending their long wait for a league title.

"A few months ago we spoke as a group about putting ourselves in a position over a period of time to set up something for ourselves and we have managed to do that.

"All credit goes to our players for how they have gone about their business over the last few months. We have given ourselves an opportunity, that is all it is at the moment - an opportunity.

"We will treat this game the way we treat every game. We won't get too excited about it, we will be nice and calm and prepare the way we always prepare."