CITY OF DERRY: McMaster wants players to refocus after moving clear

City of Derry's Chris Cooper pictured in action against Highfield on Saturday. INLS0316-152KM
City of Derry's Chris Cooper pictured in action against Highfield on Saturday. INLS0316-152KM

City of Derry head coach Terry McMaster claims his players cannot afford to take anything for granted despite the Judges Road men taking control of AIL Division 2B with an emphatic 33-10 victory over closest rivals Highfield.

The result leaves Derry 13 points clear of Sunday’s Well who moved up to second with a 14-8 victory over Seapoint but with Ulster derbies to come against Rainey and Dungannon in the next three weeks, McMaster needs his players to refocus quickly.

“I have talked about how important the Highfield game was and I think for the club it is probably the most important victory for a long time because we aspire to be a Division One side,” explained McMaster.

“Whether that is Division 1A or 1B who knows but we have to pitch ourselves against the best and that was first against second.

“We are not going to be smug about it. We put a big shift in and got our reward but we will regroup because in the next three games we have two Ulster derbies.

“Those are potential ‘banana skins’ and my job as Head Coach is to make sure the player don’t become smug, to ensure they stay grounded. That said, they are a grounded group and there are plenty of leaders to make sure feet stay on the floor.”

McMaster refused to acknowledge the title race was over.

“It’s not over until the ‘Fat lady’ sings and I haven’t even heard her clear her throat yet! No, we’ll not get carried away. By Tuesday night we will have dissected the ‘work ons’ rather than the five tries and look at how to improve things.

“As head coach, it’s my job to make sure they don’t take the players don’t take eye off the ball.”