(Friday, August 18) Bradley back - O'Donnell, Malseed out

FINN HARPS' defensive crisis may well be solved with the return from suspension of Shane Bradley, but Finn Harps have other problems to contend with ahead of tomorrow night's visit of Monaghan United to Finn Park. (Kick off 7.45pm).

The suspension of Stephen O'Donnell and an injury to Darren Meenan, means playermanager Anthony Gorman has just one regular striker available for selection.

And with on loan departees, Conor Gethins and Chris Breen no longer part of his attacking options, Gorman may have little choice but to start Davitt Walsh as a loan striker this weekend.

O'Donnell's automatic one game ban which follows his sending off at Terryland Park against Galway last weekend is a major blow to the Donegal side. "The thing about it is, Stephen's been playing well this last while," Gorman admitted.

"We'll definitely miss him. It's just a case of getting on with what we have for this game."

Bradley's return will free Jonathan Minnock up for a return to midfield. However, with Chris Malseed also suspended, Gorman will likely start himself in a five-man midfield as he plots the downfall of the basement club.

"They might be bottom, but they've managed to grind out a few good results recently," the boss noted.

"I was speaking to someone who watched their scoreless draw with Cobh on Sunday and by all accounts, they were unfortunate not to win.

"When we played them at their place, they were very well organised and we found it very difficult to break them down and this one won't be easy either.

"We aren't naive enough to think they're going to be easy. Fortunately we've been on a good run this last few weeks and it would be nice to keep that run going," added Gorman.

The sides have met twice already this season. Harps were held to a disappointing goal-less draw at Century Homes Park back at the end of June.

A few weeks earlier in a rearranged fixture at Finn Park, Harps picked up their first home win of the season in a 4-1 victory with Davitt Walsh grabbing his first senior hat-trick.

A win for Harps could lift them to joint third in the table, depending on how results go elsewhere in this division over the coming days.

Gorman says the standings make more pleasant reading than they did a few months back.

"We were written off by many people but we've said all along that this is a very tight division," he maintained.

"Look at us now, we're right back up there. You'd like to think we can take it on from here and catch a few of the sides ahead of us. We've got to be patient though, because there's still a long way to go in the season."