Saturday 27 May 2017

Fenlon braced for fierce Sligo challenge

Neil Ahern

BOHEMIANS can put themselves within just one point of league leaders Shamrock Rovers tonight, but manager Pat Fenlon believes his side must first negotiate the "hardest game in the league" if they are to do so.

The Gypsies face Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds in what could be a pivotal tie as the battle for the League of Ireland title hots up.

With Sligo Rovers facing the distraction of an EA Sports Cup final against Monaghan United on Saturday, the Dubliners have a perfect opportunity to take advantage and pile the pressure on their fierce rivals, the table-topping Hoops.

But Fenlon doesn't believe the three points will come easy.

"Playing Sligo away is probably the hardest game in the league," he said.

"They're a good team. When they have everyone fit and on the pitch they're a big threat.

sneaking

"But they're all big games when it comes down to this stage and I'm sure Sligo have their eye on nicking into Europe or even sneaking in the back door ahead of ourselves and Rovers if we lose matches."

One man who has been on fire for Bohs recently is former Sligo hero Raffaele Cretaro, and Fenlon believes the Tubbercurry man could play a huge part in their fortunes in the coming weeks.

"I think we missed Raf (when he was out injured). He's infectious, he sparks things with his work rate and his honesty, and we did miss that.

"We didn't have him as much as we would have liked but I think he's paying that back now in spades."

Tonight's game will also act as a dress rehearsal for the FAI Ford Cup semi-final between the teams after they were paired together in last night's draw.

Bohs will host the Bit O'Red in the penultimate stage of Ireland's biggest cup competition, while St Patrick's Athletic will travel to Tallaght to take on Shamrock Rovers, with one game -- yet undecided -- taking place on Friday October 15 and the other the following Sunday afternoon.

FAI Ford Cup semi-final draw --

Bohemians v Sligo Rovers

Shamrock Rovers v St Patrick's Athletic

Irish Independent

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