BOTH an FAI Ford Cup quarter-final and a full dress rehearsal for the EA Sports final, there’s a lot riding on this evening’s game at the Showgrounds between Sligo Rovers and Monaghan (7.45pm).
Given that they are also flying high in the First Division, Monaghan are making strong claims for being considered the team of the season but manager Mick Cooke is determined that his side don’t get ahead of themselves.
“We will have to take the games one at a time,” he says. “As a player I always liked the atmosphere of the Showgrounds. I am expecting a good game; both Sligo Rovers and Monaghan United are the form teams of their respective leagues. I am looking forward to locking horns with fellow clan member Paul Cook — I am just hoping that I will be the Cooke with the better recipe”.
In the other quarter-final, cup holders Sporting Fingal — who beat Sligo in last year’s final — travel to Richmond Park to take on St Patrick’s Athletic (1pm).
“It’s a Dublin derby and is probably both teams’ last shot at silverware this season,” says Fingal boss Liam Buckley. “We’ll be giving it our best to get through this tie. All of the games between the top five in the Premier Division this season have been close and this one could be equally so.”
Following losses to Shamrock Rovers and UCD, the Saints will be intent on getting back to winning ways but Pete Mahon is sweating on the availability of Ryan Guy who is doubtful with a knee injury.
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