Sligo Rovers welcome Cork City to the Showgrounds this Saturday night in what will be new manager Owen Heary’s first competitive game in charge.
Heary was brought in as new manager of the Bit O’Red in the off season. His appointment and his capture of Estonian International Sander Puri and former Swedish U-21 star Morten Neilsen has brought a new sense of optimism to the Showgrounds and Heary will hope to fill the stadium Saturday night.
Speaking to the club’s official website ahead of the Cork game, Heary said;
It is important that we start the season right. We have to go out and try to win the game. We done very well in pre season but that counts for nothing now. It’s going to be difficult to pick the team. The players will know the reason for whoever is selected and the system we choose, we won’t hide anything from them.
Speaking about the threat posed by John Caulfields charges Heary said;
It will be a tough game. They came second last year and have a largely the same squad but they have also added a few good quality players. They will be tough to play against. But if we will be well tuned into what we have to do to beat them and will be going out to give it a go.
Heary will be without Jeff Henderson who will be under going surgery on the foot injury he picked up in Rovers last pre season game. He’s expected to be out for a number of months. Heary will also be without Eoin Wearon through suspension.
Cork on the other hand go into Saturday’s game on the back of a narrow defeat to Munster rivals Limerick FC in the Munster Cup semi final, but they will still be favourites to take all three points at the Showgrounds.
Speaking at his weekly press conference this Friday, Cork manager John Caulfield said;
I think we have a very decent bunch of players and I think our strength should be better than last year. This year we have brought in players to address certain areas and this have gone reasonably ok.
Speaking about the challenge posed by Rovers, Caulfield said;
It will be an enormous challenge for us and we will need to be ready for the match. It’s a really tough start to the season for both clubs.
Caulfield will be without the services of John O Flynn through illness and Billy Dennehy through suspension.
Damien Mac Grath