Team news for UCD game
Sligo Rovers take on UCD in The Showgrounds on Saturday night in the Bit o’ Red’s final Airtricity Premier Division before the mid-season break.
Ian Baraclough will have the same squad as for last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Bohemians.
Raffaele Cretaro, Lee Lynch (both hamstring), Evan McMillan (knee) and Danny Ventre (leg) are out.
Anthony Elding is suspended, with three games to run on a ban for a sending off against Dundalk.
Rovers’ points total of 32 points from 16 games so far would have been enough to lead the league in three of the last four seasons.
The last occasion that Rovers had a run of five successive league games without registering a goal was in October to November 2006 - the Bit o' Red will hope to avoid repeating that feat this weekend.
Rovers manager Ian Baraclough said: “Every game is a must-win as far as I’m concerned. You want to take three points from any game you play. It’s not going to be easy, but this is a home game for us and one we feel we can win if our performance is right. The group has been very bright this week and having looked back at the game against Bohemians again, I think we played well and the only thing lacking was the ball going in the net.
“It is unfortunate, but that is the way football goes. You have to take the chances that come your way. As a team we have been a superb attacking force for a long period of time. We have created attacking openings on a consistent basis and you just have to keep reinforcing that to the group. I know what capabilities we have in front of goal, I reminded the players of what they can do on Friday morning and it is just a matter of time before it comes. When it does, I think we’ll see goals flow.
”We started the season with 10 wins in-a-row, eight in the league and at that stage there was lots of people handing us trophies and medals and claiming the league was already finished. I don’t think it helps. If you mixed up our results over the course of the season so far, it would give a slightly different complexion. We are just three points behind our total at the same stage last season and our position is in the top three challenging at the head of the table. The league will not be won in the middle of the season and we feel our current standing is one to kick on from as the league goes on.
”UCD have a massive array of young talent and mixture of players available to them. I think Martin Ruseell does so well with the group he has and moulds them into a team filled with character. They come out and play football, they don’t get carried away but try to win games. It has shown in their results so far this season. It is why we have prepared for a big challenge on Saturday.”