Sunday 15 September 2019

Shels boss Morris wary of title focus

Shelbourne manager Ian Morris. Photo: Sportsfile
Shelbourne manager Ian Morris. Photo: Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

A return to the promised land is in their grasp, just 90 minutes away, so close that Shelbourne can see it.

But Reds manager Ian Morris has told his players to put title glory "to the back of our minds" and focus instead on the more basic task of winning a game of football.

"We are hungry and focused but we've approached this game as we have every other game, nothing has changed. We'll be looking for three points as we would every game," Morris said, the former Bohemians player hoping to seal promotion in his first season as manager.

"You see the numbers that are travelling. With that atmosphere, it could feel like a home game to us," added the 32-year-old.

With a bit to run in the Premier Divison title race, the outcome in Division One could be settled tonight. as a win for Shels away to Drogheda United would gift the Reds that crown and automatic promotion.

There's a buzz around the game rarely seen in the second tier, Shels selling out their away ticket allocation days ago while Drogheda expect a full house.

Shels were odds-on favourites to win the title at the start of the season and they began the campaign in that vein, stitching together a winning run - 10 wins from 11 at one stage - to leave them well-placed. But a draw at home to Cabinteely in July halted their gallop, Shels later dropping points against Cobh Ramblers and Bray Wanderers,

Shels have been out of the top flight since 2014 but their most recent attempt to get out of that division ended in a play-off loss, to Drogheda.

Elsewhere, Shamrock Rovers are in line for a Dublin derby FAI Cup semi-final against arch rivals Bohemians.

Keith Long's Bohs face Crumlin United of the Leinster Senior League in the quarter-final on Monday and should the Gypies progress, they will have a home tie against their fierce rivals Rovers.

On the other side of the draw, Sligo Rovers were drawn at home to face holders and double champions Dundalk.

Irish Independent

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