Friday 15 December 2017

North loss leaves Sligo in search of path to goal

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

SO, just how reliant are Sligo Rovers on Danny North? We should find out tonight at the Brandywell.

The prolific Grimsby native was Paul Cook's parting gift to the club, who now lead the League of Ireland Premier Division by four points at the halfway stage, and his 14 league goals have proved crucial to their efforts in pulling clear of the pack.

However, in the week when North picked up the Soccer Writers Association of Ireland Airtricity Player of the Month award for June, the striker learned of a suspension that means he must sit out the match against Derry City, so the Bit O'Red must find goals from elsewhere.

Without North, things might have been very different at the top of the table. Sligo's remaining 10 goals have been shared between seven other players. And, of them, centre-halves Jason McGuinness and Gavin Peers are the only players to have registered more than one goal.

North's form has attracted interest from his home country and, while Sligo have offered him an extension to his one-year deal, he has yet to commit himself. Gianfranco Zola's Watford are among the clubs believed to be hovering.

"I know that there have been teams over from England and Scotland looking, but you can't let it get to your head -- you just have to keep going and trying to play well," he said.

"The club have approached me about signing a new deal and we're in talks. But I'm just trying to get on with my football.

"If you score goals, you are going to get recognised -- every team needs a goalscorer. And that's what I am. If someone comes in for me, then I'll have to look at that. I've still got a few months left on my deal and they have offered me another year, so we'll see what happens there."

Derry City v Sligo Rovers,

Live, RTE2, 7.05

McCaffrey quits

SEAN McCAFFREY's unhappy tenure as Dundalk manager came to an end last night when he resigned with the club second from bottom of the Premier Division table and a major question mark over their future.

Assistant manager Darius Kierans will take temporary charge for tonight's clash with champions Shamrock Rovers at Oriel Park.

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