Ruaidhri Higgins admits that heat will be a huge factor in Derry City’s Uefa Conference League first-round qualifier against Bruno’s Magpies in Gibraltar on Thursday (5pm).

The Derry boss has already made the rare assertion that he will use all 16 players available to him this evening.

Last season, Dundalk struggled to a 0-0 draw in the searing heat on the Iberian Peninsula and Higgins knows that for all the homework done on his team’s opposition, the temperature could be just as crucial to the outcome.

“It’s obviously a factor,” he acknowledged. “We don’t live in the most tropical climate in the world. Limavady is quite tropical actually, but this part of the world wouldn’t be. We don’t live in a warm climate, so obviously conditions will be tough.

“There’s no point in saying otherwise. But we have to manage it in and out of possession, and we’ll use 16 players. But we’ve got fit lads, good professionals who look after themselves and we’ll be ready to go.”

The Premier Division title is clearly the priority for everyone at Derry this season, but Higgins understands the magic of European football and is confident that his players are of a similar mindset.

“Football is a short career, particularly for players, hopefully not for me,” he joked. “It’s really, really important that when you finish as a player, as a coach, as a manager, that you have really enjoyable experiences to look back on.

“I remember that feeling on the pitch over in Finland after we went through last year. We had about 50 supporters there, some club officials, players. All in all, there might have been about 80 people connected to this club on the ground against a few thousand fans. That feeling walking off the pitch after going through was a special feeling. Hopefully we can replicate those sorts of nights.”

Michael Duffy remains an injury concern for Derry while new signing Jacob Davenport has picked up a knock and could miss out.