/ Soccer

Drogheda aim to go top of the table with win over Sligo Rovers tonight

Updated: Saturday, 04 Aug 2012 11:44

Danny North, pictured celebrating a goal against Drogheda United earlier in the season, will be absent
Danny North, pictured celebrating a goal against Drogheda United earlier in the season, will be absent

Drogheda United can go top of the Airtricity Premier Divison with
victory over long-time leaders Sligo Rovers in The Showgrounds
tonight.

United have won their last six games in succession to move within one point of Sligo, with the Bit o’ Red holding a game in hand after a weekend off last week because of St Patrick’s Athletic’s Europa League commitments.

Sligo have been hit by a massive blow with the news that top scorer Danny North is ruled out for the reason of the season due to a cruciate ligament injury.

North visited a specialist yesterday and will shortly have surgery
with the view to being fit for the start of next season.

They will also be without Danny Ventre this evening because of suspension.

Mick Cooke will welcome back Ryan and Gavin Brennan after bans.

There are no injury doubts hanging over any of their players and new signing John Sullivan has been added to the squad.

Cooke said: “We all know what is at stake tonight, both sides do, so
we will not be going there expecting anything less than a tough match.

“But, also, we won't be going there with any fear. We have recorded some good wins on the road this season and we won't fear any team away from home.

“I have 22 lads, all fit and all fighting for a place. As the season
progresses more people are uping the tempo to get involved and
everyone wants to play, tomorrow night especially.

“We will need everyone firing at their best, Sligo are a highly
experienced side but my lads relish playing in front of big crowds and we expect the Showgrounds to be jumping.”

While a large home support is expected, there is an extra pressure on the Bit o’ Red with Shamrock Rovers having won last night in UCD.

But Rovers boss Baraclough is relishing the title run in.

Baraclough said: "These are the games you want to be involved in, it is a challenge and an exciting game.

"I think in the two matches with Spartak Trnava and Cork we had some emotionally and physically exhausting experiences and it was probably a good thing we didn’t have a game last weekend. It was a disappointment but we’re ready to put our focus back on the league.

"We know that if we keep on winning our games then we will have no concerns about what other teams do. They are on a great run, Mick Cooke has done a marvellous job and they will come here with thoughts of coming away with three points. It is up to us to cope with that and it’ll be tough but we’ve prepared very well this week and we’re looking forward to the challenge.

“I’m looking forward to playing at our regular time and that extra
special atmosphere the Showgrounds has on a Saturday night.

“I think we’re in for an exciting end to the season and we’ll try to
send our fans home happy on Saturday and set ourselves up for the rest of the campaign.”

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