Sligo welcome Dundalk to the Showgrounds this evening for what is their first home league game in five weeks. Kick off is set for 19:45.
Sligo come into this fixture on the back of a 4-2 victory over Cork City, in a game which saw braces scored by both Romeo Parks and Ronan Coughlan.
Sligo will be without Dante Leverock for the next five games following his dismissal for a headbutt in his side’s victory over Limerick. However, Leverock will not be losing too much match sharpness in the short term anyway as he is due to fly off for international duty with Bermuda for the next two weeks. The Bit o’Red will also be hoping that Danny Kane and Johnny Dunleavy can come through late fitness tests ahead of the clash with the League Champions.
With only a short turn around between games, Liam Buckley is hoping his players can produce a similar display to last Friday’s away victory.
“Some of the goals we scored were great on Friday. We played very well. We created quite a few chances and passed the ball as we wanted.
“We want to grow our team into a slick passing outfit and we need to improve that. We are by no means the finish article by any stretch. That said , I’m really pleased with the effort and workrate and the players have shown that throughout the year.
“It was obviously a long trip but we tailored our schedule to try to manage the lads and I’m not worried about tiredness.
“We’ll be ready for the game on Monday and a big week. We’d like to produce more of what we saw on Friday and for the lads to have a right belt at Dundalk and see what we can get out of it. We know how hard it’ll be and what is needed to compete with them.
“We have a small lead over the teams below us and we’d like to grow it and get as many points as we can.
“With two important home matches this week, I’d love The Showgrounds to be as vibrant and as difficult for the opposition as it can be. The support we’ve received this season has been terrific. “
Dundalk head West to face Sligo Rovers as the Lilywhites continue to lead the chasing pack by four points, as well as having two games in hand.
Dundalk are fresh off losing backroom staff member Stephen O’Donnell to St Patrick’s Athletic as he takes over from the recently departed Harry Kenny.
Assistant Head Coach Ruaidhri Higgins was delighted to see how his side played on Friday in their win over UCD.
“It was a brilliant result for us on Friday. We were excellent for the first 25 minutes to begin with. We saw out the first half then. We were able to get back up in the second.
“All in all, it is a good night for us. We scored five good goals and got another clean sheet which is always good for us.
“It’s another game ticked off for us and we look forward to the next. “
With a number of Dundalk’s games rearranged earlier in the year due to European and international commitments, the fixtures are set to come thick and fast over the next few weeks.
“The squad are fresh. Everyone will be needed over the next few weeks and it is important that players have games for when they are called upon.
“Players are fresh and hungry. There is good quality in the squad and we need everyone. This is a crucial period of the season and we need to pick up as many wins as possible.
“We are coming into the business end of the season and we have to be ready for Sligo tomorrow. They turned us over there back in April so we want to rectify that. It’s going to be a difficult game.”
In team news for the Louth men John Mountney has an ankle injury and will consult a specialist this week to establish how long he will be forced to spend on the sidelines. Andy Boyle, Sean Murray and Jamie McGrath all face late fitness tests in order to find out how much of a role, if any, they will play in this game.
Referee: Derek Tomney
Dundalk have scored eight games in their last two games whilst Sligo have netted five.
Dundalk beat Sligo 4-0 when the pair faced off back in May of this year with the goals coming via a hat-trick from John Mountney and a single goal from Pat Hoban.
Sligo Rovers 17/2; Draw 4/1; Dundalk 2/7
Sligo Rovers 0 – 2 Dundalk
Doubtful: Danny Kane, Johnny Dunleavy
Suspended: Dante Leverock
Injured: John Mountney
Doubtful: Andy Boyle, Sean Murray, Jamie McGrath