Finn Harps make the short trip to Sligo Rovers on Saturday night for the second north west derby of the new season, knowing that a good result will add to Sligo’s early season woes.
Rovers drew with Galway United on Monday night with their goal coming from Donegal town’s Liam Martin.
However, they are still seeking their first win and meet a Harps team who will be buoyed by a decent performance, despite the defeat to Shamrock Rovers this week.
Harps have also been boosted by the news that Ciaran Coll’s injury is not as bad as first feared. The vice-captain was stretchered off after injuring his knee in the dying moments of Friday night’s defeat at Dundalk and his manager, Ollie Horgan, said he feared Coll would be out for the season.
“We’ve a little bit of good news with that side of things,” the manager said.
“ Ciaran should be fit to resume playing, I’m not sure when, but he got the all clear with the scans today and that’s great news for Ciaran and for us.”
The news is not quite as positive on Barry Molloy who, Horgan confirmed, is facing up to eight weeks on the sidelines. Sean Houston is likely to be out for another four weeks.
Horgan is likely to wait until Saturday before deciding on his starting side for this weekend. He said he’s expecting a difficult test.
“Sligo will pose a completely different challenge,” he said.
“I watched them against Shamrock Rovers. They are very energetic, young, quick and technically excellent. They move the ball, pass the ball and they will bring a different set of problems that maybe Shamrock Rovers brought with them.
“It’ll be a hugely difficult game. They are very easy on the eye. They might be young some of them, but they have serious quality and we’ll be up against it on Saturday night.”
Meanwhile Harps defender, Keith Cowan, said the team is relishing being back in the Premier Division and after a difficult start, this weekend’s game is one they’re really looking forward to.
“It’s very relentless,” he said.
“We’d a fairly heavy start. Had we got three draws, you would have thought you were doing alright. But as it turned out, we got the first win against Derry, although that’s gone now.
“But we’re relishing these challenges This is where we want to be.”
Harps return to action at Finn Park next Tuesday night with their EA Sports League Cup opener with Cockhill Celtic.
They then play Longford Town in the Premier Division at Finn Park on Saturday, March 26th.