Kearns set to miss out as Rovers prepare for two games in four days

Sligo Rovers are likely to again be without winger Daniel Kearns for the forthcoming games against St Patrick’s and Cork City over the next four days.

Kearns has missed the last three games with a thigh problem, and has been ruled out of tomorrow’s trip to Richmond Park to face St Pat’s.

He is also unlikely to feature in Monday’s home game against Cork City at the Showgrounds.

Meanwhile, Ocean FM understands that striker Mathew Stevens has returned to parent club Peterborough after his loan agreement at the Showgrounds was ended.

The Bit O’ Red go into tomorrow’s game level on points with the Saints in the table, having played out a one-all draw in the Showgrounds earlier in the season.

Speaking on Ocean FM’s Rovers Review Show, midfielder John Russell, who won a league title with St Pat’s in 2013, says that Pat’s and Rovers find themselves in a similar predicament ahead of tomorrow’s game…

Rovers boss Gerard Lyttle said: “We were taught a lesson in the second half last Friday. We played well up until the first goal and from then on we made mistakes and were punished for them.

“We switched off and have to take a message from it. It was a bad night after the positive result against Limerick.

“We had been doing well and have to get back to what we had been doing prior to that bad second period against Dundalk.

“Pat’s had a good win last week having previously done better away from home.

“Our own record on the road hasn’t been good and while there are travel demands and preparation can be better with long journeys, it has been that way forever for Sligo Rovers so it’s no excuse. It’s something we have to change and start picking up points away.

“Our home form shows we are capable and it’s something we want to change from here on. We feel we can get a positive result and finding a more consistent performance is what we want from the group.”

Friday’s game kicks-off at 7.45pm in Richmond Park, and there will be live updates on Ocean FM.

The Saints recorded a 2-0 win over Drogheda United last Friday, and will
hope to improve on the 1-1 draw away to the Bit O’Red earlier in the

In team news, the Saints remain without Darren Dennehy through injury,
however manager Liam Buckley otherwise has a full squad to select from
including top-scorer Kurtis Byrne who has three goals in each of his
last three league games.

Speaking to ahead of Friday night’s game in Inchicore,
Buckley admitted that while his side were looking to replicate last
week’s win, he hoped his team would still improve on their performance.

“Last week was a great win for us.  We played very well in the first
half and could have been more than 1-0 up at half-time.  We started the
second half well and saw it out well.  We’re improving steadily and know
that there is still more to come from the team, especially in front of
goal where we can still be that bit sharper and take more of our

Reflecting on the opposition, Buckley knows that Sligo will pose a
significant threat under new manager Gerard Lyttle.  “Sligo are and
always will be a good footballing side.  They’ve recently changed
manager so they’ll be keen to record points so we know that they will
pose us problems.  Like last weekend however, if we can start the game
well we can hopefully take the initiative and look to get a positive

For St Pat’s goalkeeper Conor O’Malley, the Mayo man will be hoping to
get one over the Bit O’Red.  The Westport man recorded his second clean
sheet of the season last weekend and admitted that the hard work that
the whole team put in was the primary reason for the shut out.

“Last week was a great result for us.  We all worked really hard and it
showed in the scoreline with the fact we were well on top for the
majority of the game and kept a clean sheet.  When everyone is closing
down and pressing from the front, it makes it easier for us at the back
so our aim is to replicate that every week.”

While admitting that it’s been a tricky start to the season, O’Malley
believes the Saints can climb the table and admits that the aim for the
players is to add consistency to their performance levels and results.
“We’re unbeaten now in three and last week was a good win.  We’re still
gelling together as a team so hopefully we can continue that on Friday
and over the next few weeks.”