Sligo Rovers face their third away game of the week when they travel to Dublin to take on St Patrick’s Athletic in Richmond Park on Monday.
After four points from two matches with Bray Wanderers and Bohemians in previous days, Rovers travel to south Dublin in good form and keen to keep up the unbeaten away record so far.
In team news, John Mahon is the only confirmed absentee with a knee injury. Regan Donelon trained this week and will be available for selection imminently.
Gerard Lyttle said of the 2-2 draw with Bohemians: “In terms of performance, I thought we battled very hard. It was a tough night. They were always going to be looking for a reaction from their players from the previous results.
“We knew it was going to be a battle and they’d try to bully us and be physical against us and I thought our lads stood up really well to that. That was very pleasing. We showed great character to come back from 1-0 to 1-1 and 2-1 to 2-2.
“Previously to their first goal I thought we were on top and controlling the game. They hit us with a sucker punch where Eoghan Stokes has put the ball in the top corner and that was an unstoppable strike. Overall we’ll take a point and it was probably a fair result and we look forward to Monday.”
The manager, however, is not pleased with how side are leaking goals which is constantly bringing a challenge to get back to parity or win games.
“The goals we are conceding are completely preventable. We are watching them over. I mentioned Stokes’ strike but in the build-up we should have done better. They are goals that we are making easy for opposition to score because we should be defending better.
“We need to tighten up on that moving forward. If we can do, we will win more games because the goals are there in terms of scoring.
“You’re controlling a game and that is when you have to make it count. It leads to you playing on the frontfoot than the backfoot and I think we have been doing it, but without getting the first goal. We’ve had to then try to come from behind a lot.
“It has to be improved on. We feel a sense we are getting better and stronger as as a team and a group and we’re finding out more and more about one or two players as well which is good. One or two had off nights as well on Friday which we’ve spoken about.
“Ally Roy wasn’t his usual potent self and he knows he didn’t have an effective night. Hopefully we can get more out of him. Caolan McAleer was good in spells. The midfield three did well. Overall defensively we were not too bad apart from those mistakes. It’s clear that part has to change.”
One of the highlights of the game was Adam Morgan’s fourth goal for the Bit O’ Red, a technically-brilliant strike into the bottom corner which earned the point.
But that wasn’t the be-all for Lyttle.
“I thought Adam Morgan was excellent with his work-rate, shift and we asked him to use his body a bit more and hold it up and link things up and I thought he did that really well.
“He is lethal in the box. We all know that anyway. It’s up to us to get those opportunities for him.
“He has a knack for goals, being in the right place, and I thought he took that goal very well. He deserved it. It summed up his overall performance.”
Rovers do not have a great record in Inchicore – and indeed haven’t won in Dublin since beating Pat’s in 2015 – and the Saints are sure to be keen to respond to a narrow defeat on Friday.
Lyttle feels the 10-team league brings hard game after hard game.
“Every fixture you play is difficult. Limerick were beaten heavily by Derry and then they go play Cork and by many accounts deserved to win that game. Pat’s had a tight game against Shamrock Rovers and by the reports it was just edged by Shams.
“We know we’re going to go down there and they will be desperate to get points as well, as we are. It’s going to be tough. We’ll be prepared as much as we can and go there with a good attitude and mentality.
“The squad is good for these type of games. Recovery is getting less and less at the moment. You’re playing Friday–Monday a lot and on top of that this is the third away gamein seven days. It’s not ideal.
“We have to find the right blend and players to get us 90 minutes and be efficient in their play and getting about the pitch. We put a lot into the Bohs game and died a bit in the last 10 minutes.
“I don’t think we finished as strongly as we did in previous games. That could be down to many factors with the travel and recovery. We’ll do all we can to be fresh and take the game to Pat’s because we feel we’re good enough to go there and win.”