Dundalk FC all-rounder Dean Jarvis is expecting a hot reception when he returns to The Brandywell for Monday night’s clash with Derry City.
The 25-year-old left his hometown club before Christmas to join the Lilywhites and has become a regular feature in Stephen Kenny’s team over the past couple of weeks, popping up in various positions.
He shone as a central midfielder in Dundalk’s EA Sports Cup quarter-final win over Bohemians last Tuesday night while on Friday he started at left-back but ended up in the centre of defence as Patrick Hoban’s 89th-minute header downed Sligo Rovers at Oriel Park.
With Stephen O’Donnell, Sean Gannon, John Mountney and Karolis Chvedukas all sidelined with injuries, Jarvis’ adaptability has been welcomed by Kenny and the former Northern Ireland U21 star said he has no problem being asked where to play, once it was in in the starting XI!
“I’ll probably be out on the right-wing come Monday night,” he laughed. “We had a pile of injuries for the EA Sports Cup game and that was probably my first 90 minutes playing in midfield.
“Luckily, I was able to take a few pointers of the ‘Ginger Pirlo’, Chris Shields and got through it well! I then had two positions on Friday night but I don’t mind where I’m playing, once I’m in the team that’s the main thing.”
He may be a Brandywell lad but Jarvis knows that will count against him on Monday. He saw first hand what the locals thought of two Derryman, Patrick McEleney and Michael Duffy, wearing a Dundalk shirt in Buncrana last year.
And with the Candy Stripes back on their own stomping ground, he is expecting that to be mild in comparison to what is thrown at him and Duffy on Monday evening.
“Mickey got a fair bit of stick up in Maginn Park last year so I’m bringing ear plugs with me,” he laughed. “No, I can’t wait to go back up. Myself and Mickey will just meet it head on and concentrate on getting the job done.”
Derry have yet to lose a game since returning to the redeveloped stadium, winning five and drawing two of their seven matches at The Brandywell and after losing to Cork City and Waterford in their last two away games, Jarvis knows that Dundalk can’t afford any more slip ups on the road.
“After the Waterford game we were really disappointed,” he said. “We had enough chances to win two games and the confidence took a bit of dent so it was important to get back to winning ways against Sligo on Friday night.
“We’ll need to be at our best again in Derry,” he added. “I’ve been to a Sunday League matches since the Brandywell opened up and the facilities are brilliant. They’re packing the place out aswell so I’m really looking forward to playing there.”
Jarvis expects the Candystripes to come right at Dundalk. He played under Kenny Shiels for two seasons and said the Derry City boss would be sending his team out with one thing in mind: attack.
“They’re a young team and they’ve no fear at all. Kenny lets them go out and play but the way they set up will suit us. We like to press high and get after players. It should be a really exciting game and something will have to give.”
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