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Sligo refuse to give up on title

THE BOOKIES don't fancy their chances, but Sligo Rovers insist that they have not yet abandoned hope of snatching the Premier Division title away from Shamrock Rovers.

Due to last night's European duties in Greece, the Hoops are not in domestic action tonight so it's up to the two teams who still retain a tiny chance of winning the title, Sligo and Derry City, to keep those faint hopes alive and at least force the title race to run until the last day of the season.

For that to happen, Sligo Rovers have to win both of their remaining games, starting away to Bohemians tonight, and hope that Rovers then drop points against UCD on Monday and again at home to bottom side Galway United next weekend.

The Sligo camp admit that those chances are slim -- even if Rovers do drop points in their games, Sligo need to win away to Bohs tonight, and Bohs have held the edge in this fixture over the last few seasons, with Sligo winning just four times in the 19 times they've played Bohs since Pat Fenlon took charge.

"We haven't given up on the league yet and we won't give up until it's mathematically impossible," says Sligo's Dublin-born forward Eoin Doyle, a former Shamrock Rovers player.

"We can't just lie down at this stage of the season. We know it's a slim chance but as long as the chance is there, we have to go for it.

"It's hard to see Rovers slipping up in their last two games. It's expecting a lot for them to lose to Galway next weekend. We need UCD to do us a favour as well and that's probably unrealistic, but we will keep trying.

"We finished third in the league last season and we want to better than that so finishing second is the first aim and we'll see what happens in the other games.

"Second place is definitely on the agenda," added Doyle, a key player for Sligo this season in a run which has seen them qualify for the FAI Cup final.

"We had a great season last year, finishing third and winning the FAI Cup, so hopefully we can at least do better by winning the Cup and finishing higher in the league. This is a very ambitious squad and club and we're always looking to better ourselves.

"It's hard to know how tonight's game will go. The match between us and Bohs on Sunday was very scrappy.

"No one was able to get the ball down and play a bit but I think tonight will be different, better football hopefully."

Whatever about their targets as a group, Doyle has another aim as he's still hoping he can finish the season as top scorer, though he'll need to finish the season in sensational form to catch Eamon Zayed's tally of 22 goals.

"I'd love to finish as top scorer, but I have a bit to go on Eamon Zayed. I think he's four ahead of me, but we'll see over the next two games how many I can get."

Bohs boss Pat Fenlon has to try and lift his players after Sunday's disappointing display and defeat at home to Sligo in the Cup.

"We want to finish as high as we can in the table," he says. "If we finish in the European places I don't know if we'll be in Europe, but we will finish off as well as we can."