Liam Buckley is desperate for his Sligo Rovers team to break their FAI Cup run against UCD this weekend. The Bit O’Red face into Saturday’s quarter-final, having never knocked the Students out of the competition. The weekend’s tie is the first time
Liam Buckley is desperate for his Sligo Rovers team to break their FAI Cup run against UCD this weekend.
The Bit O’Red face into Saturday’s quarter-final, having never knocked the Students out of the competition.
The weekend’s tie is the first time the teams will meet in the tournament since Sligo were the holders in 1984. The Dubliners overcoming Rovers after a replay.
There have been two other occasions in which UCD were victors, in both 1981 and 1982. Buckley, a two time winner as manager with Fingal and Pat’s, is desperate for Rovers to progress and put that record to bed.
“If we manage to get through, then we’re in the last four and anything can happen from then on”, he said.
“At this stage of the competition, I’ve seen teams play poorly and win and I’ve seen teams play well and lose. From our end, we want a bumper crowd, get through the tie and go to the last four.”
UCD are on a poor run in the league, but surprised many by beating Buckley’s former employers Pat’s in the last round.
He’s fully expecting the league’s basement side to arrive at the Showgrounds with little fear.
“They beat Pat’s in the last round. So we can take nothing for granted bearing in mind our performance on Monday night against Dundalk. Now we need to reorganise and find that drive to get us through Saturday’s game.”
Rovers will be without the suspended Date Leverock, while they’ll monitor both Johnny Dunleavy and Danny Kane after they missed recent games. Ronan Coughlan will also be assessed after he was forced to pull out of the defeat to Dundalk before kick-off, owing to a hamstring injury.
“We’ll have to wait and see on those boys”, Buckley continued.
“There’ll be fitness tests on those pair (Dunleavy and Kane) and we’ll see on Ronan. We’re hopeful one of them might make it.”
Rovers surrendered their unbeaten run at the Showgrounds on Monday night, as Dundalk continued their march towards another league crown.
Buckley was disappointed with the result, but said the Lilywhites were full value given their performance.
“They were miles ahead of us and fully deserved the win. That said, the goals we gave away were sloppy from our point of view. I hate conceding goals from set plays given that we put so much emphasis on them.
“But Dundalk are top of the table for a reason. They’re full-time in every sense of the word. They can hand-pick any player they want.”