Preview: Rovers v Derry
Dave Robertson is looking forward to a good test for his side with the visit of fellow Premier Division side Derry City tomorrow.
The game will be played on the main pitch with a 7:45pm kick-off.
Robertson reported that he is satisfied at how his squad’s preparation is going ahead of the season’s kick-off in a fortnight against Shamrock Rovers.
“We have a full squad available. It’s a good position we are in at the moment. The programme we put in place for the players fitness has been very beneficial and we haven’t picked up any injuries yet in pre-season.”
Game three of pre-season saw Rovers have a 3-0 win over the Irish Defence Forces in a performance that pleased the manager: “I was really happy with that game against the Irish Defence Forces. They gave us a serious physical test and I was pleased with how the lads stood up to that test. We showed some quality but we need to be sharper on the transition from defence into attack.
“This week we have been working on our attacking and the decision making of when to change the attacks through into the centre. We are just putting the final pieces of the jigsaw together at the moment. We know that we will get a tough game tomorrow against Derry City and it will give us a chance to look at how everybody us progressing.”
Saturday is the bit o’Red first test against another SSE Airtricity League club and Robertson feels it will be a very useful challenge for his team: “Playing against another team from our division will give us a good barometer and show us what we need to do as we finalise our preparations for the season over the next two weeks. But at the end of the day it is a pre-season game and nobody is going to win the league based on it. But this game should give us a good indication of where we are at the moment. We are keeping it quite low key at the moment and just giving the players time on the pitch and giving them the opportunity to be ready for the season kick-off.
“There will be a mix of all the squad in the game to get everyone the opportunity to play some minutes. It will be similar to the Liverpool game where we will make changes to the team during the second half to get everyone prepared. There may be some trialists involved that we are looking at the moment but we are still in negotiations with some other clubs and we hope to add before the window closes.”
Admission for adults will be €10, for second level students €5 and free for kids under 12.
This will be the last home game played before the season kicks-off exactly two weeks later against Shamrock Rovers in the Showgrounds.
The Bit o’Red have two wins from three games in pre-season so far with comfortable wins against Charlestown Athletic and most recently the Irish Defence Forces. The only loss came in a close game with Liverpool under-21s.
Afterwards Rovers have one more game with a trip to Athlone Town Wednesday 24.