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Waterford FC -v- Derry City FC

Friday, 21st May 2021

Kick-Off: 17:45

Waterford FC will have a new man at the helm when they kick off at the RSC this Friday night. Marc Bircham will take charge of the blues heading into the summer, and a much-needed win against fellow strugglers Derry City is first order of business for the former Millwall and QPR stalwart.

The candy stripes have also seen an early managerial switch this season with Ruaidhri Higgins taking over from Declan Devine at the end of April. Since his departure City have taken 8 points from their previous 5 games with the latest being an eventful visit to Tallaght stadium last Saturday night where they took a point and possibly could have taken more against the champions and current league leaders. Higgins men took the lead through a Will Patchings penalty at the start of the second half before Rory Gaffney equalised on 56 minutes with the help of a dubiously located throw-in from Liam Scales. Derry will however be without Daniel Lafferty against the blues this Friday night after he picked up his second yellow card of the game in injury time.

The Waterford squad have had another turbulent week of preparations with anxious waits for COVID test results meaning that players’ availability remained uncertain. Nevertheless, Marc and the squad have been working hard in recent days in their WIT Arena training base and will be eager and ready for the visit of the Derry men.

Managers Views: “I’ve been hugely impressed with the club since coming in, the facilities are fantastic, everyone here has welcomed me with open arms but there’s a lot of issues here at present. Unfortunately, the biggest one is Covid and it’s the one we can’t do a great lot about. We’ve a few players where test results haven’t returned yet and that’s frustrating as we have to treat it as they can’t play until we know.

“With 3 games in quick succession before the break, we’ll struggle to get a squad in place due but we just need to keep focused. As I said to players being called up, this is your jersey to keep. You can earn this and keep it if you work hard enough. If we can steady ourselves and get to the break with some results, we can really come out of the traps and our season will start from there really.

“I’ve heard a lot about these (Blues) fans and I’m really looking forward to hearing them get behind the team. We need them now and the quicker those gates open up, the better.

Team News: Kyle Ferguson, Prince Mutswunguma, Jack Stafford, Jamie Mascoll, Oscar Brennan, Kian Kavanagh, Daryl Murphy, Tunmise Sobowale (suspended) all miss out today through injury and/or testing.

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