DERRY boss, Declan Devine, hopes that his side will become the first team to inflict defeat of Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds when the side’s meet tomorrow night.
Having been involved in face-to-face discussions with members of the Derry Board yesterday, Devine is anxious that his side rediscovers its early season form and, indeed, prepares for the forthcoming FAI Cup semi-final on the back of two positive results over a four days period.
But Premier Division leaders, Sligo will not be too keen to lose their impressive record on home soil as they strive to claim their first league title in quite some time.
Derry, who welcome back Simom Madden and Ryan McBride from suspension, could also welcome the return of Patrick McEleney who also missed the UCD match due to injury.
However, Devine must plan without his influential midfield general, Barry Molloy, who must sit out a one match ban while winger, Stephen McLaughlin, continues to struggle with a groin problem and is considered extremely doubtful.
Molloy’s absence is expected to see team captain, Kevin Deery, make his first start after what has been an horrendous injury season, the Creggan man to accompany Ruaidhri Higgins in the centre of the park.
“First and foremost, we’ve got to go out and show what we are much better than the performance we exhibited against UCD last Friday night,” declared Devine.
“Too many players had off nights, but we will welcome back a few bodies from suspension and with a match against Dundalk coming up quickly at the Brandywell next Tuesday, the players involved in both matches will be playing for their places in the squad to face Shelbourne in the FAI Cup semi-final on Sunday week,” he maintained.
He held no nears when travelling to Yeat’s Country for a game against a Sligo side which is brimming with talented players.
“We’ve done well at the Showgrounds earlier in the year when recording a 1-1 result and the player will be asked to build on that performance. We then face Dundallk on Tuesday, so we’re in for a busy few days,” he concluded.