Rovers travel to Waterford
Rovers second pre-season fixture of the season takes place tomorrow away to Waterford United. The game at the RSC will kick-off at 5:30pm.
Owen Heary's team began 2015 with an impressive 3-1 win over Shelbourne at the Showgrounds two weeks ago with goals from Dinny Corcoran, Morten Nielsen and Ruairi Keating.
This game will be the first of three in the space of five days with trips to play Ballisodare United on Sunday and Castlebar Celtic on Tuesday to come.
The Bit o'Red last played the Blues on June 1st 2013 in an FAI Cup tie at the RSC which ended in a 2-0 win on the way to Sligo Rovers winning the cup that year.
Owen Heary said he is looking for improved performance levels from the team: "The players all done well in the game against Shelbourne, albeit only playing 45 minutes mainly. But we will be looking for an improved performance with two more weeks of training.
"It will be important that we win the game. It's a long journey down so the players will have to be mentally right coming off the bus and be prepared well to play. It will be a tough test for us, Waterford won't be a bad side this year and with the long journey I will be expecting a hard game."
Rovers will bring a near full-strength squad for the game with Alan Keane and John Russell recovered from injuries which kept them out of the Shelbourne game. Heary said: "They are both fit again though John Russell has the flu so we will see on the day whether he plays but he will get game time over the course of the next week anyway. Gavin Peers and Jeff Henderson won't travel. Gavin has a calf injury and Jeff had the bar removed from his foot this week."
He also said that managing the squad will be important with four games to come in the space of a week: "We will make sure that everyone gets enough game time under their belt and builds up their stamina for the season. That's the reason why we are playing so many games now. Everyone will get to play 90 minutes over the next week and we will go on from there to the last friendly against Athlone and have the players fully prepared for the start of the new season."
You can follow live updates from the game on our Twitter page.
Rovers are continuing to build up to the new SSE Airtricity League season which begins on March 7th at the Showgrounds against Cork City.