The Candy Stripes boasted the best defence in the league having conceded just 24 goals in 36 fixtures in 2023 - three less than both Shamrock Rovers and Shelbourne who were next.
Finishing the season with clean sheets in five of their last five games, it stretched their clean sheet record to an incredible 24 in all competition as goalkeeper Brian Maher received the League of Ireland Premier Division's golden glove.
"I think we have 23 or 24 clean sheets in all competitions which is absolutely amazing and probably not enough has been said about that," said Higgins. "I know people want to see goals but we've been absolutely outstanding (defensively). "We conceded four at St Pat's (in early June) and that's been a real one-off over the last couple of years. And by the way that's not just Brian (Maher) and the back four, that's from the front backwards and how we press and how we protect our own goal.
"There's a lot of stuff I'm extremely happy with. How we defend. How we control matches and create opportunities. We just haven't been ruthless enough in certain games."
That 1-0 loss to Sligo Rovers on September 22nd at the Showgrounds will haunt Derry players for some time as it ultimately signalled the end of their title chances this term.It's those types of fixtures Higgins reckons Derry should be doing better on a more consistent basis if they're to bridge that seven points gap on Rovers next year.
"Some of the performances this year have been excellent as well and we need to do that on a more consistent basis. Let's be honest, we've taken four points from 12 against Sligo which isn't good enough.
"We've taken six points from 12 against Drogheda which isn't good enough and in the head to heads with Shamrock Rovers, they've edged it which has been a big swing so they are the types of things we need to improve on.
"If ever there was a learning curve going forward then that's it for me. We should be taking minimum eight or nine points from the majority of clubs and if we can do that we know we can have a real push."
It was mission accomplished in terms of finishing in the runners-up spot on Friday night and Higgins was pleased with the performance which sent City fans home happy.
"We got there on our own and not on goal difference," he pointed out.
"There's been parts of the season that have been really good and it's important not to forget that. "There's been some really good displays from the summer onwards in particular. Some brilliant football.
"If we can continue that and add one or two in key areas along with the group we have then I'm confident we can go on and do something a bit better.
"To be honest I was surprised at how strong the Pat's team was when the team sheets came in. All their top performers, as you would call them, were all on the pitch. So I think that gave a real focus to the team going out and in the early stages of the game we were exceptional and played some brilliant football.”
"We could've scored more and I'm really happy with the night's work. There was some really good attacking play. We know going forward that we need to be more ruthless to take the next step as a team. We know we've let ourselves down at times this year and that can't be the case going forward. We have to learn from that."
Does he believe there has been progression from last season's campaign?
"There's different ways you can look at it. Last year we came second, won the cup and did one round in Europe. This year we've come second and done three rounds in Europe and got knocked out of the cup and Europe on penalties.
"I suppose it's based on opinions but what I am happy with is the balance of the squad. I know if we can bring in two or three I'm happy with the balance and the numbers. So if we can bring in two or three to supplement certain areas. It's probably the happiest I've been with the balance of the squad."