Finn Harps will hope to take advantage of International call-ups to surprise Premier Division leaders Shamrock Rovers in the only game in the top division on Friday night.
Rovers will be without Jack Byrne, Brandon Kavanagh and Trevor Clarke for the trip to Ballybofey after they received Ireland call-ups to the Senior and U21 teams. The two sides only met less than 3 weeks ago, when Rovers ran out comfortable 3-0 winners, in a game that was moved due to Tallaght hosting games in the UEFA U17 European Championships.
Harps are rooted to the bottom of the table having only won two points, albeit against two of the leagues best teams in St Patrick’s Athletic and Dundalk, and boss Ollie Horgan is hoping his side can arrest the slide. Horgan said, “Look, the players must move on from the recent run of poor results and especially in the manner that we performed against UCD last Friday night. It’s important that we play as a unit and regain quickly that spirit which been so much part of this team.”
He knows it’s a difficult ask against the league leaders, a game that on-loan striker Sean Boyd is unavailable for as part of that deal.
“We will be long odds to get anything from the Shamrock Rovers game but we’re up for the challenge and players have prepared well this week. At least we are at home and while we have lost the last two games at Finn Park, it’s still an opportunity for us to try and get a result,” continued Horgan.
Also missing for Harps are Mark Timlin and Gareth Harkin, and while Horgan bemoans the fact that it’s a part-time team up against a full-time team, he knows that to survive at this level they have to find ways to gain points. Horgan said, “Shamrock Rovers are full-time so they have the advantage of working on all aspects of the game. We just have to try and finds other ways of being competitive against a team that really is in-form and that’s reflected in them being top of the table.”
Kick-off at Finn Park in Ballybofey on Friday night is 8pm.
Picture Credit: Finn Harps FC