Cook aiming to deny Hoops homecoming coronation
THEIR main concern today is getting home from Greece, but Shamrock Rovers could be crowned champions just after arriving in Dublin Airport tonight.
The Hoops are four points clear of Sligo Rovers and five clear of Derry City, and with both of their opponents in action in Dublin, the pressure is on the chasing duo to keep the pressure on.
Sligo are back in Dalymount Park to face a Bohemians side who made life difficult for them in the FAI Ford Cup semi-final last weekend and who they have not beaten all season.
A draw, given Sligo's strong goal-difference record, would be enough to keep things interesting at least until Monday when the Hoops take on UCD at Belfield.
Realistically, though, the Bit O'Red need to win to keep their title flame alive. Paul Cook's side missed an opportunity when they lost to St Patrick's Athletic two weeks ago. Now they are just trying to pick up as many points as possible and see what happens.
"We have a record number of points and we want to get as many as possible before the season ends," Cook said.
Defeat at Tallaght last week effectively ended Derry's interest and anything less than a win over St Pat's at Richmond Park will confirm their fate.
With the Saints having played on Monday, Stephen Kenny will fancy his side's chances of getting a win that would confirm a European place a year after they came up from Division One.
That would also force Rovers to go out and win the league, rather than have it handed to them, but given their final two matches -- they finish at home to Galway United -- it looks like a case of when, rather than if, they finish the job.