Match Preview: Rovers host Cork City at The Showgrounds tomorrow

The Bit O’ Red host Cork City on Saturday night at The Showgrounds in the next SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division fixture for both sides.

Last time at The Showgrounds, a 2-2 draw was played out following Eanna Clancy and Max Mata’s second half goals back in March.

Rovers come into the game on the back of a narrow defeat in Derry last week after a 95th minute penalty from gave the hosts all three points but confident in the knowledge that performances are improving after victory over Bohemians at The Showgrounds last time out and a strong showing at The Brandywell.

Cork City come here having drew with St. Patrick’s Athletic last Friday away from home with a stoppage time goal of their own from former Rovers Academy graduate Ruairi Keating.

Manager John Russell knows of the importance of the game:

‘’All our games are big games and tomorrow night against Cork City is no different. We have yet to beat them this season, so we know it’ll be a tough game.

‘’It’s important we continue to build on the last two performances. We know the quality we have in our group. The players have trained really well again this week and they know the levels we need to reach on Saturday’’.

Pedro Martelo joined the club on Thursday is the club are awaiting International Clearance for the Portuguese striker ahead of the game.

The Showgrounds has had some big nights in recent weeks, most recently having defeated Bohemians 3-1 in the League a fortnight ago in front of over 2,000 supporters who created a brilliant atmosphere.

Russell wants to make The Showgrounds a fortress for the remainder of the season:

‘’Our support has been brilliant this season. The atmosphere for our last home game against Bohemians was electric. We will need that again on Saturday night.

‘’We want to make the showgrounds a fortress for the remainder of the season’’.

In team news, Garry Buckley is getting ever closer to a return to the matchday squad following his ACL injury, which happened 11 months ago now.

Karl O’ Sullivan and James Finnerty are also closer to returns of their own from ankle and achilles injuries respectively.

Reece Hutchinson will remain out for around 3-4 weeks but his recovery is progressing.

Conor Walsh is fit again having played against Celtic B on Tuesday night.

Mark Byrne continues his rehabilitation from his ACL injury and could return in August while Gary Boylan remains out long-term.Tickets for the game are available at the turnstiles on the night or online at