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Dublin: 22 °C Tuesday 23 July, 2019

'Whether we're under the radar or not isn't something I consider, we remain a work in progress'

Sligo Rovers are out to spring another upset when they travel to Dundalk this evening.

Sligo Rovers boss, Liam Buckley.
Sligo Rovers boss, Liam Buckley.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

LIAM BUCKLEY IS under no illusions as to how Sligo Rovers’ season has progressed.

Point out the fact that the Bit O’Red are unbeaten in eight of their last 10 games – one of those losses coming against this evening’s opponents and reigning Premier Division champions, Dundalk – he would tell you that there have been too many draws.

Too many points dropped.

Well, that wasn’t the case against Bohemians last Friday night. Two goals from Jamaican striker Romeo Parkes earned Rovers a priceless 2-1 win away at Dalymount Park and sent them within two points of fourth-placed St Patrick’s Athletic.

While the top two continue to pull away from the rest, the battle for third is now well and truly underway.

“Whether we are under the radar is something I don’t consider but what is happening is we are fundamentally getting better and improving,” Buckley said ahead of Friday night’s game at Oriel Park.

We are halfway through the season but it remains a work in progress because we are trying to gel it together.

“By no means do we get carried away because you’re 90 minutes away from a defeat.

“We got a draw [against Dundalk] earlier in the season. They have a good squad of players, their ambition would be to the win.”

Romeo Parkes scores a late winner Romeo Parkes scored twice to condemn Bohs to defeat last week. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Should St Pat’s slip up at home to Cork City tonight, an unlikely three points would see Buckley’s current team leapfrog his former one.

He admits that this feat is easier said than done.

“Dundalk is a very hard game for every side in the league, especially away from home.

Fight and desire has been the backbone of what we’ve done so far and in fairness to the lads they’ve worked extremely hard.

“From our end we go there looking give a good account of ourselves and to get a result.”

As for Dundalk, they will look to become outright points leaders this evening in the absence of title rivals, Shamrock Rovers.

Stephen Bradley’s side have had their game with Waterford FC postponed due to the inclusion of Aaron Drinan and Zack Elbouzedi’s in the Republic of Ireland U21 squad for the Toulon tournament.

Dundalk boss Vinny Perth is hoping the Lilywhites will be able to push on ahead of their Dublin counterparts.

“It has been a brilliant run for us over the past few weeks, we have been in good form and we want to keep it going,” he said.

“We want to push on and continue our form. 

“We’re looking forward to the game against Sligo and we know that we are going to be at it.

“We haven’t had it easy against Sligo this year and we are going out to win.”

Sean Hoare’s 90th minute winner last week against St Pat’s constituted the club’s fourth league win on the bounce, putting behind them their patchy start of season form.

Kick-off at Oriel Park tonight is at 7.45pm.

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