Sligo Rovers Having steered Rovers away from relegation last season, things haven’t gone the way boss Ger Lyttle would have envisaged or hoped at the start of this season. An opening day defeat at home to fellow strugglers Limerick was remedied by
Having steered Rovers away from relegation last season, things haven’t gone the way boss Ger Lyttle would have envisaged or hoped at the start of this season.
An opening day defeat at home to fellow strugglers Limerick was remedied by a win over Derry the following week. But an inconsistent Bit O’Red continue to languish towards the foot of the table, keeping their heads above water courtesy of just six wins from 22 games.
There have been hints of improvement in recent weeks though. Sligo have kept four clean sheets in their previous five outings, but were themselves unable to find the net in three of those.
Rovers’ main problem this term lies in the final third, scoring just 19 times before the summer break. Adam Morgan looked a promising signing but a critical lack of supply to him has been the cause of plenty a headache for Lyttle. Although this month’s capture of Mikey Drennan may see things improve in that area.
Seemingly settled at the back, where Rovers go this season is down to whether they can improve their fortunes at the business end of the pitch.
Mid-Season Rating: C
Supporters expected a lot more from this team than what they’ve seen so far. There have been hints and glimpses of what may come with recent wins away to Derry and St Pat’s, backed up by much improved defensive showings.
This gives Rovers supporters hope for the coming months. However, another problem the Bit O’Red must urgently see to, is their home form which has been poor to say the least, losing seven of their 12 league games at the Showgrounds.
Best Player: David Cawley
Not many at Sligo would have expected Cawley to have such an impact on his return. A star of the Rovers team who captured the league title in 2012, Cawley is clearly thriving in his role in the current set-up having spent two unremarkable years away at Pat’s and Galway.
A determined battler with an eye for pass, Cawley has also chipped in where in matters this season with three goals in all competitions so far in 2018.
Most Promising Newcomer: John Mahon
Sligo have introduced quite a few players to the senior set up from their underage structures in recent times. But none have had such an immediate and impressive impact than that of Mahon. A traditional, no-nonsense style centre half, supporters hold high hopes for the 18-year-old local.
Twice voted fans’ player of the month and recently named SSE Airtricity League player of the week, John is far from the finished article. But Rovers’ decision recently to tie him down to a 2-and-a-half-year deal is an indication of how Lyttle feels about one of the club’s brightest prospects.
Area They Need To Strengthen: Attacking midfield
No surprises here. As mentioned, Rovers’ biggest weakness this season is chance creation. Ali Roy, Adam Wixted and Caolan McAleer, who Lyttle brought in to make things happen in front of goal, have shown potential but little in terms of consistency and marked results.
Wholly aware of this, the club have already made moves to make amends with Drennan convinced to join the ranks in the north west. Sligo have a ready made goal-scorer in Morgan. Now it’s about opening up the lines between him, Drennan and their team mates behind them.