Sligo Rovers continue their rollercoaster season this evening when they welcome St. Patrick’s Athletic to the Showgrounds (kick-off 7.45pm) looking to build on their recent form which has seen them record three wins in their last three away games.
Their home form this season has been somewhat different to that recent away run with just two wins in their fourteen home games to date.
This inconsistent form has resulted in the Bit O’Red lingering just above the relegation play-off place in 8th position on 35 points after 30 games. They sit eleven points ahead of Limerick who currently occupy that play-off place and with just five league games left to play this season one or two more points should be enough to see them safe.
Their last league game on the 31st of August saw them record a memorable 2-1 away win against current champions Cork City and this result should give everyone involved the confidence to ensure they end the season on a high.
Speaking before the game Gerard Lyttle said, “There has been a good buzz around the place on and off-the-pitch. We’re in a good bit of form. We’ve responded well from Longford, getting the head down and working hard. If you look at the games before that, we put points on the board and we’re in a position now where we can try to catch some of the teams above us.
“Until July there was a lot of chopping and changing with the team. In the last few months we think we’ve found a better continuity and as a group the lads have that bit more mettle. It was no more evident that coming from behind in the Cork game. I don’t think too many teams do that in a place like Turner’s Cross but we want more results like that. The lads have such a strong bond and I think they enjoy being here.
“We’ve competed well with every team in this division. We haven’t been on the end of heavy defeats and some of the results we have achieved show real improvement. We went to Pat’s last time and got a good win but the games are always tight against them.”
In terms of team news, long term absentee Gary Boylan remains side lined and Rhys McCabe serves a one match ban.
The highest potential league position that Sligo can finish the season in this season is exactly mid table in 5th place, they currently trail Bohemians by five points in this position with five games remaining.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
St. Pats travel west to the Showgrounds knowing that a win this evening will allow them to leapfrog Bohs into 5th place in the league as we approach the last few weeks of the season.
Prior to the FAI Cup action last weekend Liam Buckley’s side recorded two impressive victories advancing to the Leinster Senior Cup Final at the expense of Dundalk and they also recorded a comprehensive 3-0 home victory against Waterford.
The Saints have enjoyed home comforts a lot more than their games on the road this season winning just three times in fifteen away games and losing ten away from home.
"We have had a bit of a break since our last game which saw us get past Dundalk in the Leinster Senior Cup,” manager Liam Buckley told the club website.
"We've been working on trying to improve a few little things since then in training. If we can produce that form from now till the end of the season, we're hoping to finish strong and see where that takes us in the league standings.
"We've seen a good bit of Sligo lately and I have been impressed with their play. They are in a good run of form and got a big win over Cork City recently so we know they are going to be tough opponents on Saturday.
There is rarely much between the sides and I know that George Lyttle encourages them to get it down and play so it should make for a good game."
On the injury front experienced duo Killian Brennan and Christy Fagan remain side lined while captain Ian Bermingham sits this one out as he serves a one match ban.
Referee: Robert Rogers
These sides have met each other on three occasions in the league so far this season with one win each and a draw between the sides in April.
St. Pat’s have really struggled on the road this season losing ten of their fifteen away games.
Sligo Rovers home form reads very similar to the away form of tonight’s opposition with just two home wins from fifteen games.
Sligo Rovers 13/8; Draw 21/10; St Patrick’s Athletic 6/4
Sligo Rovers 2-1 St. Pats
Injured: Gary Boylan
Suspended: Rhys McCabe
St. Patricks Athletic
Injured: Christy Fagan, Killian Brennan
Suspended: Ian Bermingham