Preview: Buckley wants Rovers to seize moment

Sligo Rovers face Drogheda United on Friday night in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division in The Showgrounds.

The third place Bit O’ Red go in search of a first win of the season over United – the Boynesiders are one of just two sides Rovers have failed to earn three points against this season.

The most recent meeting was a 0-0 draw in Head in the Game Park.

Johnny Kenny scored one of his eight goals this season in the previous game in Drogheda, while the Showgrounds meeting ended in 2-1 win for the away side.

The Showgrounds will be at full capacity for the first time in over 18 months with restrictions eased. Match tickets are available at turnstiles.

In team news, Shane Blaney could make the squad after recovering from a foot injury. Greg Bolger returns from a two-game ban.

Liam Buckley said: “We met on Sunday morning as a group and talked about the game in Finn Park on the Saturday night. Over the course of the 90 minutes we were in control for 85 of them, we dropped too deep and invited the pressure onto ourselves at the end of the game.  

“Mark McGinley made a number of saves from Adam, Walter and Johnny as well as us scoring the two goals. We spoke about that we cannot change what happened, we can learn from it and use it going forward. It’s done with and we have to move on. As a team it was a decent performance on a difficult night and a heavy pitch which both sides had to deal with and what we can take from it is to remember what cost us and the positives of the performance earlier in the game.

“The results in the last week were typical of what the league has been and in this game we could open up a seven-point lead on Drogheda or have it reduced to one. Every game has a three points at stake which makes a big difference and as I’ve said from early on the teams are so well matched. We’ve created this position for ourselves. We’re still in that third place and Drogheda are one of the teams looking to chase us down.

“For the players these are games to look forward to and to really relish. I want them to play with an excitement rather than any other feeling. There is the opportunity for us in this game and the ones to come so that is how it should be looked at. I want them to use that in how we play.

“I feel for the supporters, of course, because I know what it means to everyone here and the work that goes into the club, but we’re still up there and a win can make all the difference. We’re ready for the game and we’re looking forward to be back in front of our home supporters again.”