Sligo Rovers desperate to return to winning ways as they face Derry at the Brandywell
But manager Ian Baraclough confident that the champions can bounce back
Sligo Rovers manager Ian Baraclough: “If we can replicate the performances from the last four matches we’ll get the rewards.” Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
After a defeat and two successive draws has seen them slip six points behind leaders St Patrick’s Athletic, Sligo Rovers will be hoping for a hat-trick of wins over Derry City this season to get their title bid back on track at the Brandywell tonight.
The champions are now five games without a win in all competitions, but manager Ian Baraclough believes they’re playing well and it’s only a matter of time before they return to winning ways.
“If we can replicate the performances from the last four matches, we’ll get the rewards,” said Baraclough.
“Each individual will have to go out and put in the work to make it happen. There was one goal between the teams on the opening day of the season and it was a very close game. I don’t expect it to be too different tonight,” he added of the return trip to Derry.
“If you take points from your rivals, it will give you a major boost at this stage of the season. There are fine margins, if we’d converted just three of our draws to wins, the difference in the table would be gone and I can count more than three games where we drew and should have taken full points.”
Sligo’s left-sided midfielder Ross Gaynor has been ruled out for four weeks with strained knee ligaments suffered in the 0-0 draw with Shamrock Rovers last week. Striker Aaron Greene remains out with a toe injury. David Cawley and Haitian Pascal Milien are back from suspension and international duty respectively. Midfielder Danny Ventre has returned to training but he’s not match sharp enough yet.
Derry, two points above Sligo in third place, wait on central defender Stewart Greacen who has a swollen knee.
Left back Ian Bermingham is set for his 100th league appearance for league leaders St Patrick’s who take on Drogheda United at Inchicore.
Manager Liam Buckley, whose only injury doubt concerns midfielder Shane McFaul (groin), hopes Daryl Kavanagh’s registration can go through in time to bring him straight into his squad after the striker rejoined the club from Cork City for a second spell.
Midfielder Eric Foley remains out for Drogheda following a hernia operation, though defenders Michael Daly and Alan McNally return.
John Mountney and Dane Massey need to prove their fitness for second-placed Dundalk ahead of Shamrock Rovers’ visit to Oriel Park.
Captain Pat Sullivan is available following suspension for Rovers, though midfielder Ronan Finn is banned this week. Calf injuries rule out defender David Elebert and Mark Quigley while fellow striker Tommy Stewart has a dead leg.
Ryan McEvoy and Chris Lyons miss out through injury for bottom side Bohemians ahead of a relegation tussle with UCD.
Dave Mulcahy is an injury doubt, though caretaker player/manager Owen Heary, Derek Pender and Luke Byrne return from suspension. James Kavanagh and Mark Langtry are banned for UCD.
Limerick are without their suspended top scorer Axel Bossekota as they host Cork City. Manager Stuart Taylor remains without Pat Purcell and Steven McGann while Shane Tracy is an injury doubt.
John Kavanagh, Darren Dennehy, Kevin Burns and Kevin Murray are out injured for Cork while Kalen Spillane is ruled out due to suspension.