McCourt and Boyle to miss out as Harps prepare for Derry

Ollie Horgan brings his Finn Harps side to Maginn Park (kick-off 7.45) tomorrow night on a mission to get something out of the game against Derry City that will keep their hopes of staying in the Premier Division alive with just two more leagues remaining after the Northwest derby.

As it stands Harps are four points from safety and remain second from bottom of the table. Sligo Rovers’ win over Bohemians has taken the Bit O’ Red out of the bottom three and for now it leaves Galway United as the other team in the relegation zone while Drogheda United already know they will be playing First Division football next season.

Harps sit on 30 points three behind Galway. On 34 points are both Sligo and St. Patrick’s Athletic. Galway are home to Pat’s while Sligo are away to Shamrock Rovers with both games also on tomorrow night.

Despite the scale of the challenge Horgan and his squad is determined to give it everything in the bid to stay up, starting tomorrow night against the Candystripes. “We are still very much in a position to keep our place in the Premier Division and that’s where I said we would be happy to be when the season started. We have three games left but I’m not looking beyond Derry tomorrow night. It’s going to take a mighty performance to get anything from Maginn Park. Our lads are determined to give it everything and hopefully with a little bit of luck we can get a positive result,” Horgan said.

Harps did win 2-0 at Maginn Park earlier in April before two late goals in Ballybofey at the end of July saw them lose by a similar score to the Candystripes. “Kenny Shiels still wants Derry to finish third in the table and they will also want to win after losing to us at Maginn Park back in April,” Horgan said.

As it stands Derry are fourth in the Premier Division table on 48 points two behind Shamrock Rovers. Horgan took a chance on the fitness of Ethan Boyle, Paddy McCourt and Sean Houston for the Dundalk game but apart from the latter the other players had to come off with a re-occurrence of the injuries that had made them all doubts in the build-up to the match.

“I thought it was worth a gamble starting Ethan and Paddy against Dundalk but unfortunately their injuries flared up again. Neither of them will play in tomorrow night’s game. Packie Mailey has been out long term so we’re really being stretched to the limit with a small squad. But it is what it is and we must get on with it and it’s an opportunity for other players to step up and show they can do a job for us against Derry,” Horgan concluded.