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'We're not going to settle for second best' - Roddy Collins aiming to challenge for Airtricity Premier Division title

'We're not going to settle for second best' - Roddy Collins aiming to challenge for Airtricity Premier Division title

Brian Lawless

The new Derry City manager believes that his Candystripes squad can be title contenders if they can bring in a few new faces before the start of the 2014 season

Derry City manager Roddy Collins wants his players to 'make a New Year’s Resolution that we’re not going to settle for second best' as he plans to turn the Candystripes into title challengers.

Collins believes that the addition of a few extra players to the Derry City squad will help his side be among the frontrunners for the 2014 Airtricity Premier Division title. “I think it’s vitally important that players believe in themselves as the squad that’s in place in my view, will challenge at the business end of the table," Collins told the Derry Journal.

"I'm not going to make any predictions at this stage, but if I can get three, four or even five experienced players, then I do believe this club will become a force."

The 52-year-old outlined who he believes will challenge to take the League of Ireland title from St Patrick's Athletic, but does not believe any one team will have it easy. "Shamrock Rovers have flattered to deceive recently," Collins claimed. "They’ve now got a second team in the First Division which is absolutely amazing.

"St Pat's have added Mark Quigley, I don’t fancy him, while Keith Fahey has returned and he hasn’t played in over a year, so that’s interesting.

"I think Cork City, under a new manager, will face a period of transition as will Drogheda [United] while Sligo [Rovers] have been forced into cuts in their budget.

"Dundalk were the surprise packages from last season and every other team will be fully aware of their credentials this season, so really what have Derry City got to fear?"

Collins thinks that retaining Derry's core squad from last season will be hugely advantegous, and is hoping his players can reward him on the pitch.

"The majority of last year’s squad remains in place and the younger players are now another year more experienced. That can’t be bad," Collins said.

"I will be asking the players to arrive for work with a smile on their face. Enjoy their training and give me 100 per cent on the pitch. That’s all I can ask of them, do that and I’ll worry about the results.

"I don’t believe any team will run away with the league title, it will be won over the final six games of the season so the key is, obviously, to remain within touching distance."