Boylan a doubt for Bohs game as Rovers target return to winning ways

Sligo Rovers make a long-awaited return to The Showgrounds against Bohemians on Saturday night.

The Bit O’ Red last had a home league game in mid-August and go into this encounter on the back of a defeat to Galway United which ended a good unbeaten run that included wins away to Cork City and Finn Harps.

In team news, Jamie McDonagh is unavailable as he is on international duty with Northern Ireland U21s.

Goalkeeper Michael Schlingermann is likely to be out for the rest of season with a neck problem.

Gary Boylan is a doubt with a foot problem. Craig Roddan returns from suspension.

Manager Gerard Lyttle said: “It’s ridiculous to have to go this long without a home game, not only for the players but for the club itself. It’s required a big effort. We had two good away wins. But the result in Galway was then a big disappointment.

“We didn’t perform and we didn’t turn up at all in the second half. It certainly was a blow after building momentum with successive away wins.

“To finally be back at home is great and it’s a huge game. We have two home matches left to make it count and we need The Showgrounds behind us, full of energy and backing the players as they do.

“We had to travel half the country to get a friendly to keep us ticking over last week against Linfield but it was worthwhile. It was a good exercise and we’ll take some of it into this game.

“I watched back our game in Dalymount Park. It was one of best performances we’ve had and lost the game through our own mistakes. I keep saying it but so many of the teams in this league are well-matched. Outside the top two every game is hard to call. Bohs have shown what a good side they are and it’s a really hard game for us.

“The players aren’t stupid. They know what it means to this club to stay in the division. What we’ve tried to do is for every game to leave absolutely nothing out there and with these four matches now in mind over the coming weeks. They have to give everything they have and it’s important for their own careers and the club. I know they’re good enough and we had a good run up until that game in Galway. Now they are four games left and we know what it’s going to take and I have faith in them to get the points we need.

“When that first whistle goes tomorrow night I want every supporter to think what it was like for eight weeks to go by without cheering on their team here. I want it all to come out and make it a special atmosphere. I want the players to rise to that occasion and I believe in them that they will.”

Meanwhile the Bit O’ Red Supporters Trust have also suggested that season ticket holders that wish to contribute as the club battled over 50 days without a game that they could voluntarily waive their tickets for one or both of the last two home games and instead pay at the gate.

A post on their Facebook page read: “As we know it will be over seven weeks since our last home league game when we face Bohs next Saturday, so there was been no gate income to the club in that time.

“At the last Trust meeting it was agreed that we needed to do something in the short term to try and help.

“So what we are suggesting is with only two games left could season ticket holders pay in at the gate.

“It’s up to each individual to decide. It’s just our suggestion to try and help the club out. Come on the Bit O’ Red.”

The club are thankful to the Trust for this suggestion and assistance is welcome.

Kick-off is 7.45pm.