Duff: “I can’t wait to see a full and pumping Tolka”

The sold out signs have been up for days at Tolka Park ahead of the visit of Bohemian FC for the Dublin Derby this Friday. (7:45pm // RTÉ2)

Damien Duff has a fully fit squad to choose from as the Reds look to get back to winning ways after successive draws with Derry City and Drogheda United.

They go into this one off the back of a 2-2 draw in Weavers Park last Friday night.

Damien Duff delivered a positive squad update when he spoke to ShelbourneFC.ie this week: “Coyler is grand, just cramp not a bother on him. He’s getting a bit of stick this week for that. Sean Gannon has been on the pitch, fingers crossed, touch wood he’ll come through and be fit for Friday.”

With three home Dublin derbies to come at Tolka Park over the next few weeks, the Reds boss is relishing the return of a fixture that takes on added significance for the players:

“It’s back to the Dublin Derbies, I guess no matter how much I and staff try to create that edge and emotion for when we play Dundalk or UCD, Galway or Derry to the day I die I’ll never be able to recreate it, I’m glad it’s come around I can’t wait to see a full and pumping Tolka, bring it on.”

The earlier meeting in the season took place at Dalymount, where Duff’s side recorded their first win at the venue under his tenure, a 2-0 victory. The message to his players this time around is simple:

“It’s always a fine line, Dublin Derby playing with the real edge and fire in your belly and a real calm as well, it sounds contradictory but trust me that’s what you need the fire and the ice, it’s up to the guys and us as a staff to feel the room, and know weather to prod them emotionally or try laugh and joke to try and take the sting out of it. We need to bring the fire but be calm footballers as well.”

“I take great pride in the togetherness we’ve created, the feel good factor, everyone loves seeing each other, players and staff. There’s a feel good vibe and emotion around the club,  how do we keep it here? By winning games. How do we win games? By working hard and having high bloody standards on and off the pitch.”

Duff also paid tribute to Will Jarvis who won the Player of the Month award and Liam Burt who won the Goal of the Month: “Wonderful players, game changers, x factor… brutal trainers. The individual awards are brilliant, hats off to them, brilliant guys, brilliant players in their own right.”

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