Reynolds optimistic Blues can go through

DESPITE a glut of injuries and suspensions, Waterford manager Alan Reynolds is hopeful of progress in the derby game against Kilkenny City tonight in the FAI Carlsberg Cup third round clash at the RSC (KO 7.30).

Reynolds says while he has been delighted with recent form, particularly the superb comeback against Shamrock Rovers at Richmond Park last Friday when two excellent goals from Daryl Murphy secured all three points, he will be missing six players for this vital game.

Waterford will be without the injured John Frost (ankle), Wayne Fitzgerald, (knee) and Vinny Sullivan (groin), while Dave Mulcahy, Mark Clifford and PJ Banville are all suspended.

“In many ways the cup is all both Waterford and Kilkenny have left to play for this season, so it is very important for both teams to do as well as they can,” Reynolds said last night.

“We are missing a lot of players, but this is a cup match as well as a derby game, so it will be very tight and could go either way,” he said.

Kilkenny are ninth of 12 in Division One with just four wins in this year's campaign from its 21 games, although it comes to the game on the back of a fine 3-0 win over Monaghan United.

Even so, the loss of former Blues striker Barry Wood, who has emigrated, has reduced its firepower up front though Philip Gorman's hat trick last weekend will boost his confidence.

Aside from his injury and suspension worries, Reynolds revealed that new signing Kenny Coleman would not be able to line out as he had not signed in time to qualify to play in this game.

Elsewhere, high-flying Drogheda United will be hoping to carry over its League form into the Cup when it faces bogey team St Patrick’s Athletic at United Park and manager Paul Doolin insists form goes out the window in the Cup and expects a difficult match.

“The Cup is different to the League. You can play well and get knocked out or, like we did against Dundalk, play poorly but still manage to get through,” said Doolin.

“If we defend well and keep a clean sheet, we stand a good chance of going through.”

Doolin’s big worry, however, is that his side has lost its two previous home meetings with St Pat’s this season.

His counterpart John McDonnell is hoping that Paul Osam and Barry Prenderville will both be fit, although loan signing Mark Quinless is ineligible while Stephen Quigley is still out injured.

Drogheda pick from a full-strength squad.

Athlone manager Stephen Kelly is hoping his side can return to its Cup form rather than its dismal league form when his side meet Cobh Ramblers at St Mel’s Park.

Town hasn't won a match since it beat Tullamore 3-0 in the second round of the FAI Cup while its last clash with Cobh ended in a 5-0 defeat in what was Kelly’s first game in charge.

With long-term injury victim Padraig Moran the only player unavailable, Kelly has plenty of options while his counterpart Dave Hill must plan without Darren Murphy (suspended), Gareth O’Donovan, Owen Lockheed and John Meade (unavailable).

Bohemians take on Kildare County at Dalymount Park and caretaker boss Gary Howlett insists that the side want to ensure it is still in the Cup for the new manager.

“We’ve watched them a few times and have prepared well for the game,” he said.

With Bobby Ryan and Damien Lynch back in training, Ken Oman (thigh) and Paul McNally (back) are the only injury worries.

Kildare will be without James Igwilo who has a knee injury.

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