Bray Wanderers host Sligo Rovers in the Airtricity Premier Division on Friday night in the Carslisle Grounds.
The Bit o’ Red’s last game in Bray ended in a 2-1 victory over the Seagulls with goals from Raffaele Cretaro and Danny North.
Ian Baraclough’s side went top of the table that night in April, and have stayed in the position since for the last 24 weeks. They lead Drogheda United by six points going into this encounter.Rovers are on an unbeaten run of 12 league games. Avoiding defeat against Bray would equal the club record which was achieved twice before, first from January to September in 1977 and again from October 2011 to May of this year.North is one of a number of absentees for Rovers. The English striker is ruled out for the campaign with a cruciate ligament injury, while Alan Keane is also absent for the remainder of the campaign because a broken metertasal sustained in the win over Dundalk last time out. Iarfhlaith Davoren will have surgery on a heel injury and will not feature again in 2012.
Gavin Peers is suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards but Mark Quigley has recovered from the thigh complaint which forced him out of the match with the Lilywhites.
Manager Ian Baraclough on the run-in at the end of the season: “Everyone speculates about what can happen in the last few weeks of a season. That isn’t in our control and nobody is getting beyond themselves. If you look too far ahead, things can change very quickly. If football was run on predictions, we’d all be very rich from bookmakers but it doesn’t work that way.
“We go to Bray and it seems like an eternity since we’ve played truthfully. Our preparations have been good this week and I think the lads are looking forward to putting on the jersey again and playing a game. The only pressure we feel is pressure we put on ourselves that week-on-week we deliver and I think we’ve got better as the weeks have gone on. We have to maintain that because nothing will come easy to us.”
On missing players this week: “Obviously there will be one or two changes with Gavin’s suspension and as reported Alan Keane out for the rest of season. But we have players in reserve who have never let up in showing that they want to be in the team and whoever gets their chance will savour it because they all want to be in the team and be part of the run-in.”
On this week’s opposition Bray Wanderers: “They are fighting for their lives. They will not let up even with a cushion ahead of Dundalk. They have nothing to lose and it is in front of the cameras so they have plenty to play for. “
On Mark Quigley winning August POTM: “Mark has put together a run of games in the team where he was been excellent and while the award, which is richly deserved, rewards his performances for August, he has been in that form for a lot longer than that.
“His goals have been the talking point but I think his overall team play has been outstanding and it shows what impact he can have. He is a joy to watch. He had a tough start to life with Sligo Rovers with the six-game suspension and injury but he has really shown what we can do for over a big number of matches.”Notes:Mark Quigley has scored nine goals in the last nine games. He has scored more league goals against Bray than any other team (14 of 63 career league goals). This includes two of his three career hat-tricks, including last year with Dundalk.Gavin Peers misses the game with suspension. He has previously missed one league game, also because of suspension, and it was the club’s only defeat against UCD. This menas he is unbeaten in his last 25 LOI games for Rovers.
With contenders for European silverware set to emerge from another tension-packed conclusion...