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Sligo Rovers hope to put league woes aside as they chase Setanta final place

Updated: Monday, 14 Apr 2014 20:23 | Comments

Ian Baraclough is hoping for more cup success with Sligo Rovers
Ian Baraclough is hoping for more cup success with Sligo Rovers

Sligo Rovers travel to Richmond Park hoping to defy their league form and book a place in the Setanta Sports Cup at the expense of hosts St Patrick's Athletic. 

The Bit o' Red are 2-0 up after the first leg in The Showgrounds and are aiming to reach the final for the first time.

Manager Ian Baraclough has reported some niggles following the match with Cork City and they will be assessed again prior to the game.

However, it is hoped the same squad for Friday's match with Cork will be available. John Russell could also return after a hamstring problem ruled him out of Friday's game.

Seamus Conneely (groin), Raffaele Cretaro (calf) and Gavin Peers (knee) are definitely ruled out.

Baraclough said: "It was a fantastic all-round team performance in Cork. There were also some fine individual displays. Overall as far as our performance goes it was very pleasing and probably our best of the season so far. We are certainly going in the right direction.

"It was a bitter one to swallow, we should have been three or four up I felt and we were made to pay.

"Scoring will mean St Pat's need four goals to go through so in terms of our approach, it's something that would put us in a tremendous position. It would make it very difficult for Pat's."

The hosts come into the game on the back of a 1-0 derby victory over Shamrock Rovers and while they have a mountain to climb in the shape of that 2-0 Sligo, manager Liam Buckley believes his side can do it.

“We’ve had two good wins in the last few days, so the lads are in good form heading into the game," he said. 

"Sligo may have an advantage but we are still only 90 minutes away from the final so we’ll be fighting tooth and nail to get there.”

Following several knocks picked up in the last few games, Liam Buckley reports that both Ger O’Brien (groin) and Killian Brennan (hamstring) will face late fitness tests before kick-off.

After sustaining a heavy knock to his jaw in last Friday’s 1-0 home win against Shamrock Rovers, Buckley confirmed that Saints’ midfielder Greg Bolger suffered no break as was initially feared, with the Wexford born man  now in contention to make an appearance.

Having injured his hamstring in the first leg defeat, Rene Gilmartin misses out, though Buckley reports that he continues to make good progress in his recovery.

James Chambers also sits out this clash having received a one match ban for his red card in the Showgrounds in the first leg. 

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