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Cook insists Sligo out to unlock mean Pats defence

SLIGO ROVERS boss Paul Cook insists his side will do all they can do break down the meanest defence in League of Ireland football this season.

Sligo are on the road again today for their third away game in a row, the Setanta Sports Cup semi-final first leg tie against St Pats at Richmond Park sandwiched in between league games away to Bohemians (last Friday) and away to Drogheda United (next Friday).

Rovers come to Dublin pleased with the fact that they've kept two clean sheets in a row, but they face a very stingy Saints this evening: Pete Mahon's men have yet to concede a goal in four league games this season, though they did let in a goal in their Setanta Cup clashes with Linfield, a 1-0 defeat and a 1-1 draw.

The fact that Pats are even in the semi-final despite not having won a single game in the group stage of the competition (they drew 1-1 in their only meeting with Derry City but Pats were awarded two 3-0 wins against Derry when the Brandywell side were booted out of the competition) has devalued the Setanta Cup in the eyes of many, but Cook's focus is on trying to get the ball in the net past Saints keeper Gary Rogers.


"It's something they're doing really well. Pats are doing smashing this season, but we'll go there and try to win," said Cook, whose side had a morale-boosting draw away to Bohs on Friday.

"I don't have a belief in being negative. Don't get me wrong, good teams will always force you back but you've got to try and win games, that's for sure -- no doubt we'll get battered now at St Pats!

"St Pat's are a good side; Pete's done really well there in a short space of time and I think the league this year is going to be very competitive. A lot of teams will give each other a very good game and I think if you get your own house in order, work hard and try to play football, that's all you can do," added Cook.

The Sligo boss could field a side unchanged from the XI which held Bohs on Friday night, as new signing Joseph Ndo is cup-tied. Gavin Peers was sent off at Dalymount Park on Friday but his automatic one-game ban will only count for league games so he's eligible here. Pats are aiming to nab the win tonight which would set them up for the away leg of the semi-final next month.

Saints boss Pete Mahon said: "It's over two legs and we can expect two tough games, but we're hoping that we can build some sort of platform to bring with us to the Showgrounds -- we don't want to be going there in a deficit situation.

"They've a good team and a good manager. They beat us comprehensively 2-0 at the end of last season, and, though the season did not end too well for them last year, they've added some quality players to their squad since then."

Adult tickets for tonight's match are keenly priced at €10.