Sport Soccer

Monday 23 October 2017

Cook refuses to alter Sligo style despite Ukraine heat

Sligo Rovers boss Paul Cook has asked his players to give it everything in the draining heat of the Ukraine tonight.

Rovers will face Vorskla Poltava in hot and humid conditions in east Ukraine in their Europa League third qualifying round first leg.

And Cook wants his players to give it all to make sure they have a chance in the return leg at the Showgrounds next Thursday.

Speaking yesterday in Poltava, Cook hinted that he was set to make changes to his in-form side for the first time in six games. But he says that 14 players will be used.

"Substitutions will have a big impact on the game. Because of the heat over here, there are a couple of decisions that I am going to make that are purely in the context of this specific game.

"What I'll be asking for is for individual players to go and blow themselves out for 60 minutes -- to give everything so that we can then make changes that can influence the game."

Rovers have a full-strength squad to choose from after everyone came through the 20-hour journey and last night's training session at the pitch unscathed.

New signing Conor Powell is among those that could be called into the team, having come off the bench for the last two games.

Rovers haven't conceded a goal in nine consecutive games in the league, and Cook says they won't change their style for the Ukrainians.

"We are not going to change our system, even though there might be one or two changes in personnel," he said.

"The lads are very much looking forward to the game. It is a great opportunity for them and we have a great chance to take the game back to the Showgrounds for one of those great European nights.

"The heat is strong, but we won't make excuses. We'll go out there and do our best, and try to make sure that the tie is alive going into the second leg."

Irish Independent

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