Derry footballers are well-placed to claim a semi-final spot in Division 1 of the Allianz League – a further indication as to how well the team are progressing under Brian McIver.
The Oak Leaf county had a deserved 1-16 to 0-13 victory over Dublin on Sunday - with their manager describing the success as "top class." The Ulster outfit are now only a point behind leaders Cork in the top flight table.
With Kildare to come at home on 30 March, the smart money would be on Derry to collect another brace of points and possibly seal a last-four spot.
Since McIver took over, Derry’s graph has been on a steady rise. This has come after a nadir of sorts was reached when Donegal dispatched them from the Ulster campaign with little fuss in 2012. Longford rubbed it in when ending their Qualifier interest.
However, the new regime has overseen promotion from Division 2 and a Championship, that despite losing against Down and Cavan, was noteworthy for the type of football played and the score-taking.
"He is a very measured, analytical, practical and pragmatic individual" - Tom Carr on Brian McIver
This spring sees Derry continue to delight. A trip to Killarney saw them bring home full points, while another dividend should have accrued after their visit to Cork. Now the Dubs have been cast aside.
RTÉ pundit Tom Carr was quick to praise the work done by McIver in reviving Derry’s fortunes.
Speaking after the win over Dublin he said: “Brian has huge organisational ability in the way he deals with people. He is a very measured, analytical, practical and pragmatic individual and seems to have a good relationship with the players.
"No matter where he has been he seems to have built up a good rapport with the players. It’s very seldom you would here a bad news story coming out behind Brian McIver
"He also very decisive in his actions. Some hard decisions have been made up in Derry – likewise when he was involved with Donegal. He lays out his stall and sticks to it and that derives a huge amount of respect from players and the backroom team.
"McIver is a practical man – you don’t hear him jumping up and down after beating the All-Ireland champions."