City of Derry return to AIL Division 2B action with bottom side Seapoint making the trip to Judges Road on Saturday (KO 2.30pm).
Only a few months ago Terry McMaster’s table toppers had a hard fought narrow 18-20 win at Kilbogget Park and the City of Derry coach is expecting another tough affair.
In fact McMaster believes Seapoint is one of the best teams his side has played this campaign and he can’t understand why they are sitting at the foot of the table.
“Seapoint are one of the best teams we have played and we cannot fathom how where they are in the table,” he said.
“We knew they were would be a hard nut to crack, but we didn’t realise just how hard they would be, so they aren’t going to be an easy proposition.
“Also thrown into the mix they are also now in a relegation dogfight and when you look at the bottom of the table, they are 11 points behind Barnhall, but 11 points is just two games.
“In fact in terms of points against we have leaked more than Seapoint, we have let in 182 points and they have only let in 180 and yet we are sitting 34 points above them.
“So it tells us that we are happy with our attack but we aren’t happy with our defence and Seapoint will be saying ‘we are happy with our defence but not happy with our attack’, but they attacked us that day and we found them a handful.
“In fact we could have went for a bonus point win down in Seapoint, but I told the boys to batten down the hatches and just be happy with the win.
“Because of that game a few months ago they’ll not be frightened coming up to us, because we are happy enough to come away with a win from that game, so we certainly won’t be underestimating them for one minute.”
McMaster does admit he’s delighted to be sitting at the top of the table, but wants to make sure his players keep up their good work.
“We are sitting where we want to be, if someone had have offered that to us at the start of the season, we would have jumped at it,” he added.
“So the challenge now from us is to go through that second half of the season undefeated and whilst we lost to Highfield, you know deep down that we had won the game and where the injury time was found that day, still baffles me.
“We will only be looking as far as Seapoint, but we know what’s coming up and we have five games on the bounce, which will test the depth of our squad and it will test our resilience, but we’ll be ready for it.”
McMaster also confirmed that he has a virtually full squad to choose from and Neil Brown returned to training at the weekend, so he should be back and available for selection in the next few weeks.