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The Candystripes boss is anticipating a tough game against St Patrick's Athletic in the Airtricity Premier Division but is hopeful that his team can continue their good form

Derry City manager Declan Devine is hopeful that his team can maintain their good form ahead of their Airtricity Premier Division clash away to St Patrick's Athletic.

After nine games, the Candystripes find themselves in second place in the league and have a chance to go top of the table should they defeat Liam Buckley's Saints at Richmond Park. Manager Declan Devine is anticipating a "very exciting" game and believes that it will present a "great test" of his squad's character.

"We are all really looking forward to this game as we know it will be a great test of our character and we will be able to judge how far we have come since the start of the season," he told the club's official website.

"I have no doubt that [Friday's] game will be a very exciting and entertaining game of football and one that could go either way.

"Both teams will be full of confidence after recent results, but I know our lads will be up for it and hopefully we can keep our good run of form going."

Derry will be without long-term absentees Kevin Deery, Stewart Greacen and Sean Houston, while Paddy Kavanagh is also expected to miss the tie. However, the Foylesiders welcome back Shane McEleney after the centre back served a one-game suspension.

St Patrick's Athletic, meanwhile, have no injury concerns and manager Liam Buckley revealed that he is looking forward to the tie

"It'll no doubt be a tough game as they're on a good run of form at the moment," Buckley told the club's official website. "But even so, it's one that we're all really looking forward to and hopefully we can go out and win it."

St Patrick's Athletic host Derry City at Richmond Park on Friday, April 26. Kick off 19:45 BST.

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