Shamrock Rovers seeking a timely morale-boost
Stephen McPhail calls on struggling Hoops to get back to winning ways against Sligo
Stephen McPhail: “It’s important to give the fans something to cheer about. They’ve been brilliant since the start of the season.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Given the week that’s in it as they reflect on the 30th anniversary of the loss of their former home ground, Shamrock Rovers would welcome an inspiring victory over Sligo Rovers, their opponents in the last game at Glenmalure Park three decades ago, at Tallaght Stadium tonight.
Five defeats from their opening eight games wouldn’t have been the start manager Stephen Bradley envisaged as the club’s demanding fans become increasingly restless.
After showing media around the club’s training facility and academy centre at Roadstone, the club’s sporting director Stephen McPhail yesterday spoke of the current generation of players being fully aware of the anniversary and what it means to Rovers fans whom he praised for their patience.
“A lot of them wouldn’t have been born . . .(but) I’m sure they are well clued in and what it means,” said McPhail of the current squad’s knowledge of Milltown.
“It’s important to give the fans something to cheer about. They’ve been brilliant since the start of the season, they really have.
“The majority realise where we’re at. We’re in here for the long haul and we need to change a lot of things in the club. The depth of the squad, the age of the squad, it’s going to be difficult and we need time to bed in.
“We should have more points on board for our performances. But sometimes that happens and it’s about not getting too frustrated with it.”
Respective knee and foot injures again see midfielders Paul Corry and Ryan Connolly sidelined for Rovers tonight.
Declan McIntyre remains in caretaker charge of Sligo who, with left-back Regan Donelon back fit, travel with a full squad.
Six-points clear at the top of the table, Cork City strive for a record nine straight league wins from the start of a Premier Division season when they travel to face Bohemians at Dalymount Park.
Captain John Dunleavy and Greg Bolger return to the Cork squad following injuries, though Gearóid Morrissey and Stephen Dooley need to prove their fitness.
Having lost their last two games without scoring, injuries continue to hamper Bohemians. Jamie Doyle, Dinny Corcoran, Eoin Wearen and Ismahil Akinade remain out while midfielder Ian Morris is a doubt due to a knee problem.
Tonight’s fixtures (7.45 unless stated)
Bohemians v Cork City
Derry City v Finn Harps
Dundalk v Bray Wanderers
Galway United v St Patrick’s Athletic
Shamrock Rovers v Sligo Rovers (8.0)
UCD v Cabinteely
Waterford v Athlone Town
Wexford v Cobh Ramblers (8.0)