take on St Patrick’s Athletic in the Airtricity Premier Division on Saturday in the Showgrounds, kick-off 3:45pm.
The match will be watched by at least 5,000 spectators in The Showgrounds with home supporters having already purchased double tickets for the games with the Saints and Shamrock Rovers.
A temporary terrace has been erected for the final matches of the season (old Shed End), adding to the Showgrounds capacity. Tickets remain on sale until Saturday.
Iarfhlaith Davoren, Danny North and Alan Keane are long-term injury victims for Rovers.
Seamus Conneely suffered a hamstring injury in Cork last week in the 0-0 draw in Turner’s Cross. He is rated as doubtful for this week’s game.
Manager Ian Baraclough said ahead of the game:
On whether this game is Cup final/play-off for the title:
“It is not for us because we need two points to win the league. We have three games to get our points and the first one is on Saturday. It is obviously a very important game for both teams and it doesn’t change how we approach it but I don’t think it is a decider for us.On Seamus Conneely who is rated doubtful with a hamstring injury:
"Seamus has a chance of being fit. We're not ruling him out. He is a fit lad, he recovers well and we'll see how he is come Saturday."On playing in front of 5,000 home fans in the Showgrounds:
"Everyone wants to play on a greater stage, that is the same for all players. I think the anticipation and the excitement is a testament of how far they have come, that over 5,000 people will be coming to watch them on Saturday. Quite a few will be used to it, they have played in the Cup finals and European matches. For the younger lads it is something that is great for them and something I think they will revel in."
On this week’s opposition St Pat's:
"Liam has done a fantastic job. It has been a new ethos with a largely new squad this season. They are the only team we have not beaten this season and this is something we'd like to change, to say we have beaten all comers. They are on a tremendous run and maybe in other seasons it would be enough for them to be the side on top at this stage of the year."
On the build-up and excitement in Sligo:
"It is brilliant when you go through town and people stop you to talk about the game and how much they are looking forward to it. We just want to play the game and try to get the result we need because it can be a long wait for the players with so much talk about it. They have done all I could have asked this year. They have been tremendous as a group right throughout the season.”On pressure/nerves of the title run-in:
“There would be something wrong with the players if they were not feeling it at this stage of the season. There is hope and weight of expectation and I think we’ve dealt with that very well. We’ve kept five clean sheets in the last seven games, and in the other games we’ve conceded two goals."
"We've been unbeaten all season at home, we've been top of the league for six months so it has been talked about for two or three months now. A win on Saturday would be the icing on the cake. It has been a tremendous effort by the players and everyone at the club. Our objective at the start of the season was the top three, to qualify for Europe and then progress further. We’ve surpassed that and you want to make it that glorious ending now. We have that chance because of the good work done all year and I hope we finish it off now.”
Sligo Rovers v St Patrick’s Athletic - Match day stats:
Since Sligo Rovers returned to the Premier Division seven years ago, Rovers and Pats have scored goals more than any other teams. Rovers have 332 while Pats have 320.
Since losing to Pats in Richmond Park just over a year ago, Rovers have lost just one of the subsequent 29 games.
It is 23 league games since Rovers failed to score in the Showgrounds and the last time was against Pat’s. In the last 46 league games in the Showgrounds Rovers have only failed to score three times and two of those were against Pats.
Rovers have scored in every home league game this season, the last time a team went a whole season scoring in every game was Bohs in the shortened 2002/03 season. Last time Rovers did so was in 1953/54.
Rovers are unbeaten in 19 at home in the league, drawing five. Pats are unbeaten in 14 away drawing eight. That is Pat’s’ longest run since July 2007, Rovers since 1953.
Ross Gaynor is still yet to lose a league game with Rovers having made 24 appearances.
Since leaving Pat’s Mark Quigley has scored in just one of the 10 games he has played against the Saints.
Last time Rovers went a season without losing a game to Pats was 1991/92, all three games were draws that year.
Rovers have scored three or more goals in the last five home games, a club record run.
Rovers have won seven home games by three or more goals, that is the most in the league in 20 years.Always be first with Sligo news - Never miss a story - Join us on Facebook