Preview: Sligo Rovers v Drogheda United
Sligo Rovers vs Drogheda United
SSE Airtricity League
September 20th, 7:45
Sligo Rovers play Drogheda United tomorrow night in the Showgrounds at 7:45.
Following the departure of manager John Coleman this week Gavin Dykes is now in temporary charge of the team.
The game will be a repeat of last year’s FAI Cup final won dramatically by Rovers 3-2. It will be the third and final meeting of the sides this year. In the last game Rovers came away from Hunky Dorys Park with a 2-1 win. Drogheda visited the Showgrounds back in April and earned a 1-1 draw.
The Bit o’Red won last time out outscoring Bohemians 3-2 at the Showgrounds to end a run of two successive defeats. Goals came from David Cawley, Eamon Zayed and Danny North.
Drogheda have changed manager since the last meeting between the sides with Damien Richardson now in charge. They had just one defeat in eight since he took over until their FAI Cup replay on Tuesday against Derry City where they were beaten 5-0.
In injury news Gary Rogers trained this week following his ankle injury with no reaction and is expected to be fit to play. However John Russell is out of the game with a bruised bone on his foot.
There are doubts over Iarfhlaith Davoren who has a calf problem, Raf Cretaro who hurt his ankle in training yesterday and Regan Donelon who has the flu. All three will be assessed before the game but Gavin Dykes is hopeful they will be fit.
Alan Keane remains absent along with Jeff Henderson. Henderson had his boot removed this week and is beginning rehab.
On the John Russell injury Dykes said: “It’s a big blow to lose John as he has been a huge part of the squad for us this year and worked very hard.
Regarding taking charge of the team he said: “It’s a big honour. I was happy to answer the call and have no problem taking caretaker charge. I am happy to help the club in any way needed. Whatever job is to be done I will do the best I can.
“I won’t make any drastic changes to how the team will play. But Ciaran and I have our own ideas and philosophy on how we want to play from the under-19s. We will look to play out from the back, keep the ball on the deck, get it wide and score goals. Games dictate how you play but we will look to go out and entertain.
It’s almost two weeks since the last game for Rovers but Dykes feels the break is a good thing: “The players haven’t had a break for some time so it was good for them to get one. They are a very professional group of players. It has been a difficult season but this squad has still won trophies for the club. They will be focused and charged for this game.
“Drogheda will be a very tough game. They always make it difficult for us. They have a good set-up and are a very physical team. They lost during the week to Derry but they had a lot if suspensions for the game. Damien Richardson is a very experienced manager who has come in and done a great job. I also know Darius Keirans who is a very good coach.
Dykes is hoping to see a good crowd for the game in the Showgrounds. “The strength of this club has always been its support. They have been with the club through the good and the bad times and I know because I have been there through a lot of them. The last five years have been great for the club and we need the people of Sligo to continue to come out and support. The players and myself really appreciate the support the fans have given us.”
Sligo Rovers wins 40
Drogheda Utd wins 22
Last three meetings:
27/6/14 Drogheda 1-2 Sligo Rovers SSE Airtricity League
7/4/14 Sligo Rovers 1-1 Drogheda SSE Airtricity League
3/11/13 Sligo Rovers 3-2 Drogheda FAI Cup
Rovers are unbeaten in the last seven against Drogheda games in all competitions including four wins.
United have won just one out of the last 23 league fixtures with the Bit o’Red.
The only home game Rovers have lost in the last eight was the Europa League game with Rosenborg.
Referee Robert Rogers
Assistant referees Mark Gavin & Darren Carey
Fourth official Simon Rogers
Tickets for the game will be available at the turnstiles on the night. Prices are as follows:
Child under 12 €5