Preview: Derry up next for Rovers on Saturday night

Sligo Rovers host Derry City at the Showgrounds in the SSE Airtricity League on Saturday night, kick-off 7.45pm

The SSE Airtricity Premier Division encounter between the sides in third and fifth place is a third meeting of a season.

Derry claimed the points in Ruaidhri Higgins’ first match in charge Derry earlier in the season, while there was 1-1 draw at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

Rovers have endured their worst run of the season in recent weeks but continue to sit in third place and will remain there regardless of the weekend’s results.

With 11 wins from 22 matches so far, Rovers remain in their best league position since the middle of the last decade.

However, the chasing pack are closing in the race for Europe with 14 matches to play in the league campaign.

In team news, Greg Bolger and Robbie McCourt are out. Bolger has a knee injury and this game will come too soon.

McCourt is set to come into contention for Rovers’ next game against Drogheda United on 3 September after over two months out with a wrist injury.

Shane Blaney is doubtful and will be checked pre-game.

New signing Andre Wright will not be available this weekend. He will also come into consideration for the game in Drogheda.

Manager Liam Buckley said: “Looking back on the Bohemians game, there’s not a lot in it again. For the best part of 65 minutes we were competing well and had chances. We didn’t take them and Bohemians got the goal.

“Overall we didn’t too badly but we didn’t score and it has cost us. It is difficult as we have shown we can find form and win any match in this league and back it up again. We know we can create chances, score goals and when you’re on a run like we are it affects confidence. You have to keep working as hard as you can.

“We know it will turn for us by giving it our all and each game we face brings its own importance. We’re in a strong position to finish the season well. There are six or seven sides with an eye on Europe for next season. We showed last season that you can charge up the table and get in there.

“Derry have had a few good results so we know how hard it is each week in the league. That said, it has to be a case of bring it on now and we face it head on.

“We have had high points and low points in the season and there is no doubt this is a difficult one. We have to face the next 14 games with a mindset that there is a lot to achieve in the season because there certainly is that.”

Once again 800 fans will be in The Showgrounds for the game.

Buckley said: “Throughout the pandemic our supporters have been fantastic and it was greatly appreciated by everyone. We wanted them to come back to a situation where they really had something to shout about.

“Unfortunately that hasn’t happened and it’s coincided with the run we’ve been on. We really want to give them something and for them to stick with us. They’ve done it before and we are all in this together. We’d love to be able to give them a good night on Saturday, a win can turn things for us and the harder you work the more chance that will happen. We’ll be doing our utmost to get it on Saturday night.”