Derry City -v- Sligo RoversThu, Jul 12 2012
An injury and suspension ravaged Derry City face an almighty task on Friday night when they face league leaders Sligo Rovers at the Brandywell (k.o. 7.05pm).
Declan Devine's team has been struggling all season with injuries to key players and he will be relying heavily on youth for the fixture against the Bit O' Red. Stewart Greacen, Barry Molloy, Kevin Deery, Rory Patterson and Mark Farren are all still sidelined whilst Simon Madden and Stephen McLaughlin will miss the tie due to suspension.
Talking to Derry News, Devine issued a rallying call to his young squad saying, "We have to make sure our young players stand up to be counted. Nine of the fourteen players we used last week were under the age of 22."
"They were good last week against UCD but they have to take it up a notch against one of the best teams in the country. Sligo will have been disappointed to drop points at home to Bray last weekend so they will come here fully determined, but we have to match them."
The match could see the debut of new signing striker Conor Murphy and former Finn Harps midfielder Marc Brolly is waiting for clearance to come through after joining the Candystripes. There will be a heavy reliance on the experienced Eddie McCalliion and Ruaidhri Higgins to guide the youngsters through a very difficult tie.
Sligo Rovers will still be smarting from last week's dropped home points to Bray and will travel to the Brandywell determined to take all three points back to the Showgrounds as they look to extend their lead at the summit of the Premier Division.
They will have to do so without in form marksman Danny North who sits out a one game ban and Richard Brush who has cracked his ribs in training. New signing Ryan Connolly is however expected to be named in the panel as is Jason McGuinness who has recovered from a hamstring complaint.
Manager Ian Baraclough believes it will be a much harder task than the sides last encounter, a 4-0 win at the Showgrounds, and said "We all know that we can't expect the same result as we had in the game against Derry in the EA Sports Cup in the Showgrounds a few weeks ago. But if we can carry on in the same vein where we left off in that game then hopefully we can end up with a favourable result.
"It's unfortunate that Danny has picked up suspension but we have the strength now in the squad to cover his loss. I've heard a lot about the Brandywell and am looking forward to going there and the fact that the game is on television should help add to the occasion."
Referee: Damien Hancock
Derry City have only managed 3 wins from 8 league games at the Brandywell this season.
The last 6 fixtures between the two sides at the Brandywell have yielded 3 wins and 3 draws for the visitors.
Tomorrows clash will be at the earlier kick off time of 7.05pm as it is live on RTE.
Derry City 11/5 Draw 9/4 Sligo Rovers 6/5
Derry City 1 vs Sligo Rovers 3
Derry City Injury News: Rory Patterson(hamstring), Kevin Deery(leg), Mark Farren(leg), Barry Molloy(knee), Stewaet Greacen(ligaments).
Derry City Suspension News: Simon Madden, Stephen McLaughlin.
Sligo Rovers Injury News: None.
Sligo Rovers Suspension News: Danny North.
Jamie Mahon joined the Extratime team at the beginning of 2011. Hailing from the North West, Jamie reports on all things Derry City. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @JamieMahon23.