Sligo Rovers will look to pick up their first home points of the season at the Showgrounds when they welcome UCD to the west for their league fixture this evening (kick-off 7.45pm).
They currently sit in seventh place with four points from a possible twelve, all of which they have picked up away from home, with an impressive draw away to title holders Dundalk and, last Friday, earning all three points away to Finn Harps.
Having picked up his first win as Sligo Rovers manager last Friday night, manager Liam Buckley is expecting another tough game but is confident another big crowd will come out to support the Bit O’ Red.
“There was a small improvement in our play in Ballybofey and we really had to dig to get that win, which we did so very well.” reflected Buckley on last week’s win against Finn Harps.
“It’s going to be difficult to pick up results every ground you go to, so it was brilliant to get that first three points.
“We’d like to build on that now and we’ve worked on that because we were back at it straight away after the Harps game.
“The next few weeks are just one game a week so it gives us a chance from that end to prepare properly.
“UCD may be down the bottom right now but you look at their performances, particularly last week, it’s clear they’ll be as good as many of the teams in this league. We know what we’re up against.
“I’ve no doubt there’ll be a big crowd behind us again and we’ll need them fired up like the two previous matches. We’d love to get that win, it’s not going to be easy and we’ll have to be at it from the start.”
Last season’s First Division champions head for the west of Ireland rooted at the foot of the table having managed just one point from a possible twelve after four league games.
Their performances in games have been very promising with manager, Collie O’Neill, as always, encouraging his team to keep the ball on the ground and play football.
The team will be encouraged by their result last weekend, holding St. Patricks Athletic to a draw, and will hope to use that result to push on against Sligo.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s game O’Neill seemed happy to get their first point of the season last week but knows they will have to work just as hard this evening to take anything from the game against Sligo.
"It was great to finally get points on the board on Friday night. Our performances have been improving with each game and it was a reward for that. However it is important now that we look to push on over the coming weeks and start looking at moving up the table.
"We know Sligo will be up for it, in front of what will be a big home crowd. They'll be looking for build on last week's win against Finn Harps, and I'm sure they'll be thinking that this game is a great chance to do just that.”
Referee: John McLoughlin.
Sligo have played and lost both of their home games at the Showgrounds this season with UCD losing both of their away games so far.
Sligo lost ten of their eighteen league games at the Showgrounds last season and picked up all three points on just four occasions.
UCD had a strong enough record on the road last season on their way to winning the league title. They managed to win eight of their fourteen away games around the country.
Sligo Rovers 10/11; Draw 23/10; UCD 3/1.
Sligo Rovers 1-1 UCD,
Injured: Regan Donelon (hamstring), Ed McGinty (finger).
Doubtful: Kyle Callan-McFadden (back).
Injured: Evan Osam (achilles), Paul Doyle (ankle).
Doubtful: Timmy Molloy (back), Neil Farrugia (knee).