O’Neill out to ‘make statement’

FORMER Northern Ireland international Jim Magilton will join Michael O’Neill in the Rovers dugout for the first time since being appointed assistant manager on a temporary basis when Shamrock Rovers visit Derry tonight in the Airtricity League Premier Division (RTÉ 2, 7.35pm).

O’Neill, whose side go into the game one point ahead of second-placed St Pat’s after beating their Dublin rivals at the weekend, said: “It was a good result and performance for us, and we’ll be looking to repeat that against Derry. If we do that, it will be a big statement from us, and that’s what we intend to do.”

Karl Sheppard remains out of the Hoops squad with an ankle injury, while Conor McCormack is suspended.

The two teams last met on June 13 when they shared the points in a 1-1 draw at Tallaght Stadium, a game overshadowed by allegations that Derry striker Eamon Zayed had been subjected to racist abuse by a Rovers player. The result of an FAI investigation into the matter is expected shortly.

In tonight’s other Premier Division games, Bohemians host Galway United and UCD are at home to Bray Wanderers, both kick off at 7.45pm.

In the First Division, Cork City will be without a number of players for the game against Salthill Devon at Turner’s Cross (7.45pm).

Gavin Kavanagh is unavailable as he completes a three-match suspension while Stephen Mulcahy will miss out for family reasons. Shane Duggan (groin), Vincent Escudé-Candau (back) and hamstring victim Kalen Spillane, who has penned a new two-and-a-half-year deal, face fitness tests, while Derek O’Brien will miss out after picking up a hamstring injury in the win over Finn Harps.

On the plus side, the City boss should be able to include new loan signing Daryl Horgan, provided the paperwork for his move from Sligo Rovers goes through in time.

In this evening’s other games, leaders Shelbourne are at home to Waterford United (8pm), Monaghan United — currently joint second with Cork and Limerick — visit Wexford Youths (8pm) and Mervue United host Athlone Town (7.45pm).

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