Doolin weighs up his options


UCD boss Paul Doolin has the option of adding defender Niall Donnelly to the side that secured the club's second league win of the season on Friday night when he selects his starting line-up for this afternoon's meeting with Shamrock Rovers.  Emmet Malone reports.

But after a run of five games without defeat for the students their manager is understandably cautious about the prospect of meddling unnecessarily with a side that has clearly hit form.

"To be fair to Niall he was doing well before he picked up his knee injury against Shelbourne and he adds a bit of height at the back," he said yesterday. "But the lads did well the other night and there hasn't been much wrong in our other games recently, so it's one of those things I'll have to mull over between now and the game."

Having gone unbeaten in a month now, UCD would move to within just three points of Derry City if they could inflict another defeat on a Rovers side that has lost each of its last five contests.

"My priority is just to continue our run but if that means that they maintain theirs, then so be it," remarked Doolin who expects to have to wait another couple of weeks before having Tony McDonnell available to him again.

"Missing experienced lads like Tony is always going to be a problem, especially when you've got as small a squad as we have," he said. "We've been doing well of late but that could still be the undoing of us somewhere further down the line because you can pay for being short of bodies when things get tight later on in the campaign."

Rovers need to get things back on track after suffering setbacks in Europe, the league and the FAI cup. Buckley has identified his side's low strike-rate as a particular problem but he maintains that his players can pick themselves up. There is certainly no lack of incentive with two wins from their games in hand still being enough to put the Hoops ahead of Waterford and into second.