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Saturday 16 December 2017

brandy not so well - hutton

Derry boss sweating over injuries

DERRY City's medical staff will move centre-stage for the next few days ahead of Sunday's FAI Ford Cup final clash with St Patrick's Athletic as manager Peter Hutton has to deal with a potentially crippling injury list.

The Dublin side are clear favourites for Sunday's final at Lansdowne Road as their boss Liam Buckley has a full squad to pick from and the Saints are also the side in form, Pats winning six of their last eight league games, Derry on a run of just one win and five defeats in that space of time.

City have a good Cup pedigree, especially at Lansdowne Road/Aviva Stadium, but manager Hutton has a lot to mull over before the squad head to Dublin on Saturday.

Defenders Aaron Barry, Ryan McBride and Sean Houston as well as midfield men Danny Ventre, Barry McNamee and Barry Molloy and striker Rory Patterson have all been injured recently.

Leading striker Patterson has played through the pain barrier many times this season and the former Northern Ireland international will play against Pats but Hutton needs to see how the rest, especially important defenders Barry and McBride, fare with the healing hands of the City physio this week.

RISK

Full back Barry and centre half McBride in particular will be needed to stand up to a Pats side who have scored 16 goals in the last five games and Hutton may have to take a risk.

"That is where we have to get the balance right," he says.

"We want them training as early as possible in the week to know if they are in contention or not. What I don't want is the scenario where one or two of them play and come off after five minutes, it throws our plans.

"Given it's a cup final, Aaron Barry is one we're trying to manage to give him a chance but again, how he trains this week will determined how he is for the final.

"We spoke to the consultant and Aaron can't train two days consecutively so whatever he does, he has to have his rest days as well. We hope he is able to train and there is no reaction, it's fingers crossed," added Hutton.

Wicklow lad Barry has impressed at Derry since joining from Sheffield United at the start of the season, one of the few Roddy Collins signings who remains at the club but McBride has been a mainstay for some time.

"Ryan has been very consistent and he received one of the supporters clubs' Player of the Season awards. Himself and Aaron Barry have been a model of consistency and have developed a decent partnership. It doesn't help they are both struggling. But Ryan has been a mainstay for a year or two and has grasped the opportunity," Hutton added.

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