Sligo no stroll warns Cretaro
SLIGO native Raff Cretaro has warned his Bohemians team-mates that they are in for a very tough night's work at the Showgrounds tonight as the Gypsies try to go within a point of league leaders Shamrock Rovers.
Bohs head west on the N4 this evening knowing that a win would haul back Rovers' lead to the most slender of margins, with the Hoops not in action until Friday night. This fixture is being played tonight because Sligo have other commitments at the weekend with their appearance against Monaghan United in the final of the EA Sports Cup.
Some Bohs fans may travel in the hope that Sligo, in the final of the League Cup and in the semi-finals of the FAI Cup where they will face Bohs at Dalymount Park following last night's draw, will be slightly distracted from the league with their minds on those looming cup matches.
But Cretaro, who spent nine seasons at the Showgrounds, expects his home-town club to do all they can against the Gypsies.
"I know from playing with Sligo all those years that the team never roll over for anyone at the Showgrounds, and the Rovers lads will be desperate to win the game tonight," says Cretaro, who joined Bohs from Sligo at the end of last season.
"Sligo are an attacking team, that's the way they play under Paul Cook. They go out looking to win every game and this one tonight is no exception. Some of the lads in the Bohs camp were wondering if the Sligo lads would be a bit switched-off for this game tonight because they have that League Cup final at the weekend.
"I can't see Paul Cook resting players tonight to keep them fresh for Saturday's game. Sligo have ambitions of their own in the league, they can still finish in the top three and qualify for Europe so they'll have no intentions of sitting back and let us take the points away," added Cretaro.
Bohs have been impressive against Sligo this season, taking seven points from a possible nine, but boss Pat Fenlon has stated already what a good side Paul Cook has assembled at the Showgrounds, Fenlon rating Sligo as one of the top teams in the country when they have their first-choice 11 available.
And after something of a blip in recent weeks -- just one win in four league games -- Sligo appear to be back on form with Saturday's clinical 3-0 dismissal of Monaghan United in the quarter-final of the FAI Cup.
But Bohs have the form book on their side too, the Gypsies winning seven of their last eight games, and Cretaro knows they need to maintain that form to retain any chance of winning the league.
"We have six league games left and we need to win them all if we're going to win the league again," he says.
"Things went our way last week when Shamrock Rovers lost in Dundalk, but they've lost just once in something like 18 games so we don't expect them to lose too many between now and the end of the season. That means we have to take full points from every game, starting here tonight in Sligo. A draw is no use to us at this stage," he added.
"But I think we are coming into this game and the title run-in with a lot of confidence. We've played some great stuff in the last few weeks. I feel my own form has been good, I think I'm back to where I was last season when things were going really well for me.
"This season has been very stop-start for me in terms of injuries. I was only getting back from one injury and I picked up another one, but myself and Jason Byrne have done well up front in the last few games and hopefully we'll carry that into this game here."
Bohs have to make at least one change as defender Jason McGuinness misses out with the hamstring injury that forced him off in the first half of Friday's win over Bray.
Ken Oman is ready to replace McGuinness and Paul Keegan is on stand-by if Gareth McGlynn fails a fitness test. Sligo recall Gary McCabe.