Team News: Away v Shelbourne

Table-toppers Shelbourne are Sligo Rovers’ opponents this Friday evening as the Bit O’Red travel to Dublin to take on Damien Duff’s side, kick off at Tolka Park 7.45pm.

Rovers will make the journey to the capital in buoyant mood after last week’s performance at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium. A game in which Rovers were unfortunate not to take all the points after Derry City twice came from behind to draw.

Sligo have already faced Shels this term. The Drumcondra outfit narrowly overcame Rovers back in March at the Showgrounds courtesy of John O’Sullivan’s 12 minute strike. 

This game is the start of a busy Bank Holiday weekend for John Russell’s side who will face Drogheda United at the Showgrounds just three days later, on Monday evening. 

In team news, Nando Pijnaker (ribs) and John Mahon (achilles) are both continuing their rehabilitation. While Simon Power remains unavailable due to a groin issue. Centre half Charlie Wiggett serves a suspension due to an accumulation of yellow cards, while both Will Fitzgerald and Ollie Denham will be assessed on Friday as they look to shake off knocks. 

Wilson Waweru also faces a late fitness test but Russell hopes to have him available for selection at Tolka. Meanwhile, Rein Smit departed the club on Wednesday following the mutual termination of his contract. 

Speaking ahead of the game, Russell said: “I thought the players responded in the right manner last week against Derry. It’s a really tough place for anyone to go at any stage of the season but our players showed a real edge to their game which resulted in a really impressive performance as we saw. 

“That fight and desire played a big part in picking up a really positive result in Derry and those attributes will be key as the season goes on and no more so than against Shelbourne who have had a really good season to date.”

“We have to keep raising our levels and continue to show that desire to keep picking up points.”