Finn Harps will be without three key players - two of which were hospitalised this week - as they travel to Tallaght Stadium to face Shamrock Rovers B on Sunday, kick-off 3pm.
Sean McCarron suffered broken cheekbone whilst training and was operated on in Derry’s Altnagalvin Hospital on Saturday afternoon and Ciaran Coll was in Letterkenny General Hospital on Wednesday night with stomach pains.
Striker McCarron will be side-lined for a month, while left-back Coll was discharged in the early hours of Thursday morning but was advised to sit out the trip to Dublin. The news comes as a blow to Harps manager Ollie Horgan, especially since Kevin McHugh is also an absentee with a hamstring injury.
“Tallaght Stadium is a tough enough place to go to at the best of times but it’ll be tougher again without three important players,” Horgan said on Saturday. “But look, we’ll get on with it.
“We’re under no illusions. This will be a very tough game but all we can do is get on with it. But a lot of team are going to struggle against this Shamrock Rovers B team.”
Horgan admitted hearing reports from St Colman’s Park last week where Rovers’ second string “could’ve beaten Cobh” in a 1-1 draw.
Harps’ talismanic front man McHugh played in the 0-0 draw with Waterford United on Friday last but wasn’t a part of the matchday squad for the 3-2 win over Cockhill Celtic in the EA Sports League Cup on Monday night.
“We’ve a hell of a lot of improving to do,” Horgan said of Monday. “But anyone would struggle against a side like Cockhill. They could turn over a number of League of Ireland teams and we’re just glad to have got the result and a place in the next round.
“Kevin McHugh played on Friday against Waterford but found the going tough with his hamstring injury and it hasn’t really improved as much as we would’ve liked since then.”