Ger Lyttle’s side will be looking to get back to winning ways on home soil this Saturday, having so far been defeated in three of their four matches at The Showgrounds this season.
The Bit O’Red have shown more resolve on the road however, which was demonstrated with three valuable points at Bray Wanderers a fortnight ago before coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Bohemians last time out.
“The two games gave us more belief,” Lyttle told the club’s official website.
“Our home form last year was very strong and it hasn’t been this year but I do think we’ve been unlucky, with the Limerick and Waterford games in mind.
“Last week lifted us, we got some more points on the board and we could have had more. I don’t think that being at home is a problem for us, it’s more that it hasn’t gone our way but we have to go change that. This is a game to show us where we are.
“Last year Cork City were a big scalp when they were unbeaten and everybody wanted to beat them. It applies to Dundalk in a way now, particularly given they haven’t conceded a goal. We want to be the team to score and win against them, it’s one we look forward to.
“We’ve been able to play eleven v eleven this week in training. It’s not something I can recall too much in my time here. It has given us a chance to try some things out and we have the options there. We want to get to a position where Sligo Rovers have a squad like Dundalk.
“I looked at the team they put out against Portadown during the week – players that weren’t starting – and the calibre of the team was eye-catching. We want to get to that position. In the time I’ve been here the squad has improved and I think the supporters can see that.
“It will take time for us to get it right – we are still conceding poor goals that are disappointing and the target for us is clean sheets. We know we can score goals but if we keep conceding like we are it will make it very difficult. We had this week to look at some things and try to eradicate it.
“The Derry game was one where we scored first, we controlled it, kept the ball better and we’ll keep working and working to get that on a consistent basis. We’re excited to be back in The Showgrounds.
“The fans have been brilliant so far, and we’ll need them on Saturday night because this is a huge challenge but we can’t wait to take it on.”
Sligo have a full complement of players to choose from with defender Regan Donelon recovering from a hamstring injury which has kept him out for the entirety of the campaign up to now.
The Lilywhites are the only remaining team with an unbeaten record in the Premier Division, having not as much as even conceded a goal in their opening six league matches.
However, it took a 94th minute own goal from Garry Comerford to beat high-flying Waterford last week at Oriel Park in what could well turn out to be a vital three points for Dundalk.
“It was an important win against Waterford,” reflected midfielder Robbie Benson.
“There is probably an extra feel good factor to it when you get a win late on, although it’s not the way that you would like to do it – you’d like to have it a little bit more comfortable
“It gives us great confidence going forward in tight games or if we’re drawing or behind that we can get back in to a game and score late goals.
“I think everyone is focused in to the defensive side of the game when we’re out of possession. We haven’t given up many clear chances. The only time that we have had clear chances it was one or two balls over the top, but we haven’t been played through.
“From the back to the midfield we haven’t been played through at all and chances are few and far between but when they do get in, Gary Rogers has pulled off some great saves this year.
“It gives us a good platform to know that our defence is solid and one goal should be enough for us most weeks. It’s always tough going to the Showgrounds and there will be a big crowd at the game.
“It’s a Saturday night game and depending on how results go on Friday we could find ourselves further off the top so it’s important that we don’t let teams get away from us.
“We’re fully confident going to Sligo on the back of our good defence. It’s been a good place to us the last couple of years. Since I’ve been here we’ve only dropped two points at the Showgrounds so hopefully that continues and we get the win.”
Stephen Kenny was also delighted with the manner of the victory over Waterford but is without the injured Dylan Connolly and Dean Jarvis for this weekend’s trip to the north-west.
“The players showed their ability to go right to the end last week to win it late and that is an important trait. We must always have that. We must have it ingrained in the psyche of the team. We have always had it so to see it again is important.
“We go to Sligo expecting a real tough game on Saturday night and we are looking forward to it.”
Referee: Robert Hennessy
Sligo Rovers have not recorded a home win against Dundalk since they thrashed the Lilywhites 3-0 en route to the league title in September 2012 – Mark Quigley, Gavin Peers and Liam Buchanan all scored that night.
In the event that Dundalk keep clean sheet, it would be only the second time in League of Ireland history that a team didn’t concede any goals in their first seven matches after Drogheda United became the first in 2006.
Gary Rogers is the only player from either side to have played for both clubs – he kept goal more than 100 times for the Bit O’Red, picking up League Championship, FAI Cup and Setanta Cup medals in the process.
Sligo Rovers 6/1; Draw 3/1; Dundalk 1/2
Sligo Rovers 1-2 Dundalk
Injured: Dylan Connolly (back), Dean Jarvis (groin).