Rovers vs Bray
Sligo Rovers will be back at The Showgrounds for a St. Patrick’s weekend fixture this Saturday night.
Bray Wanderers will be the opposition in the SSE Airtricity League, kick-off 7:45pm.
The game will see Rovers look to take an opening win of the 2017 season in game number five.
Last weekend at The Showgrounds there was a 1-1 draw in a tight game with St. Patrick’s Athletic.
Kieran Sadlier scored the opener in that game, he did so again on Monday night at Turner’s Cross against Cork City.
The league leaders battled back to deny the Bit o’Red with a late goal.
Last year at The Showgrounds Rovers and Bray played out a tight, scoreless draw.
In team news Regan Donelon is likely to miss the game as he is still suffering from a heavy knock to his ankle sustained against St. Pat’s that kept him out of the game in Cork.
It is hoped that Micheal Schlingermann will return having trained all week after receiving the all clear in an MRI scan.
Kyle Callan-McFadden also miss the Cork contest but he trained today and Dave Robertson is very hopeful he will be available and back at 100%.
John Russell is also fully fit despite taking a knock to his shin in Turner’s Cross.
Manager Dave Robertson sees the improvements made in the last two performances against Cork City and previously in the draw with St. Pat’s.
Following the team’s St. Patrick’s Day training session he said that he took encouragement from the display in Cork:
“There was lots of positives for us to take from the performance against Cork. I was really disappointed for the players because they gave everything. It was two long ball that caught us out at the back. But I thought that our attacking play and our defensive structure were really pleasing, Turner’s Cross is a very tough place for any team to go.
“I want to see much of the same for tomorrow against Bray. We will need to attack well and with vibrancy while retaining our solid defensive structure.”
Rovers have scored first in both the last two fixture but were unable to turn that into victories, improving on that has been a key focus of the last few days for Robertson:
“It is an area that I have been dealing with the players this week in training and we have spoken about as a group. It is something that is important to us. We need to make sure we manage this better with our attacking play and without the ball. We have experience in the group in Mick Leahy, Craig Roddan, John Russell and Raff Cretaro and their leadership will make sure that we manage the games better.”
Robertson praised how his five new signings for 2017 are settling in to their new team:
“They are settling into the League of Ireland. Chris Kenny has done excellently in the last two games. He was really good against Patrick Cregg for St. Pat’s and against Greg Bolger down in Cork. Jonah is growing into the league as well. He had one run and shot in Cork that if he scored from it would have been one of the goals of the season but McNulty just tipped it over. To have Kyle back tomorrow as well is a big bonus for us.”
Bray Wanderers have made a good start and Robertson is well aware of the threat they will bring west:
“The same as always we will respect our opponents. They have a great attacking threat on the wings and with the new centre forward, Anto Flood as well as being robust in midfield. We will have to try to attack and get at their defence to put them under pressure. The import thing is that we will have to play on the front foot and get some points on the board, that is vitally important for us as a team and for the club.”