Match Preview: Rovers host Derry City on Saturday night

Sligo Rovers are back at The Showgrounds tomorrow evening as we welcome Derry City in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division.

Rovers come into the game on the back of three defeats against Dundalk, Shelbourne and Cork City respectively.

The visitors are currently on top of the table before Friday’s League matches take place and could drop to second place before kick-off should Shamrock Rovers get a point against Cork City at Turners Cross.

Bit O’ Red boss John Russell is keen to get a result on Saturday:

‘’It’s important we focus on performing well on Saturday night. The last two games we under-performed and didn’t get the results we wanted.

‘’We are going through a tough period with injuries and player availability and that brings added pressure but, I believe in this group of players and staff.

‘’We have shown really good form this year so it’s vital we recognise that, stick together, and continue to improve, knowing the results will come off the back of that’’.

The game is in high demand in terms of tickets with the away section completely sold-out and a large Derry support making their way to The Showgrounds.

Tickets for the home end are also selling fast as supporters look to get behind the team in the latest North-West derby, the second of the season following March’s 1-1 draw in Derry.

Russell is aware of the Candystripes threats but confident after our own recent record against them:

‘’Derry have picked up some important wins lately.

‘’We know it’ll be a tough test but it’s one we’re relishing’’.

We are determined to get back to winning ways in front of our home supporters this weekend.

In team news, Rovers continue without the injured Conor Walsh, Garry Buckley, Gary Boylan, Mark Byrne and Karl O’ Sullivan. Buckley and Byrne are improving all the time and are both progressing and upping their training loads recently with a view to a return in the coming few weeks. Karl O’ Sullivan, who was injured in the return game against Derry City on St. Patrick’s Day is also continuing his recovery at The Showgrounds. Garry Boylan is a number of months away from a return following his pre-season ACL injury. Young goalkeeper Conor Walsh has tweaked an ankle in training recently and will hope to be back in the next couple of weeks.

Striker Max Mata is back in training and could return however, Fabrice Hartmann, who returned off the bench against Cork City is out having suffered a set-back and defender James Finnerty is also still out with an achilles problem.

Gates open at 6.30pm on Saturday and away supporters are reminded that no admission will be accepted without a valid ticket in the away section. There will be no cash accepted on the away turnstile.