Baraclough: Our spirit can get us back to winning ways
WHEN Sligo Rovers won the league title in 2012, they lost just three games in the entire season and two of those reverses came when the trophy was already in the bag.
Last year's champions St Patrick's Athletic suffered four defeats and one of those came on the victory parade.
Put in that context, it is clear that Ian Baraclough's Bit O'Red could do without a third league loss of the campaign in just their fourth outing when they meet Shamrock Rovers in front of the live TV cameras in Tallaght tonight.
A good win over the Saints in the first leg of their Setanta Cup semi-final last Tuesday helped to erase the painful memory of back-to-back league defeats at the hands of Bray Wanderers and Dundalk.
"We have a strong squad and there is a great spirit among them. We will set out our stall out like we do for every game to get three points," said Barraclough.
The Hoops come into this game with the high of an impressive Dalymount Park win over Bohemians checked by a limp enough loss to Dundalk in the first leg of their Setanta Cup semi-final, with squad rotation failing to yield dividends.
"This should be a good game of football played in front of a big crowd," said optimistic boss Trevor Croly with a prediction that hopefully rings true for TV viewers, who have thus far endured grim afternoon fare which has annoyed players, accountants and fans in equal measure.
On a busy night of action, there are attractive fixtures elsewhere, notably the Brandywell clash of Roddy Collins' Derry and defending champions St Patrick's Athletic, while the Oriel Park clash of Dundalk and Bohemians should also be interesting.