After producing a superb display away to Cabinteely last week, UCD will be hoping to maintain their consistency when they welcome Sligo Rovers to the UCD Bowl on Sunday evening in the FAI Cup (kick-off is at 7.45pm).
Yoyo Mahdy netted a brace last week after Colm Whelan opened the scoring for Andy Myler’s young side.
The result saw the Students pick up two wins in the space of four days in the First Division – and recently installed boss Myler is hoping that his side can maintain their form.
“We’ve got quite a tight squad and lads have to keep going,” he told extratime.com. “We haven’t changed the team an awful lot so it’s tight and we could probably do with a couple of more players in the squad to ease that load, but it is what it is.”
He added: “I think our lads will enjoy playing in (the cup). It’s a Premier Division side that we’re playing, and we’ll be the underdogs so there’s no real pressure on us to win.
“But we’ll go and try play our football and see where that takes us. Sligo are a very good side and you’d expect them to be better being in the Premier Division, but we’ll prepare as well as we can and give it everything we have.”
UCD have yet to release team news ahead of this weekend’s clash against Sligo, but it is expected that Jack Keaney and Michael Gallagher after missing out recently with suspensions.
Following a superb three-one win over league champions Dundalk, Sligo Rovers will be looking to reach the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup for the second year running when they face UCD.
The Bit O’Red reached the last four of the cup last season, only to be defeated by eventual runners up Dundalk at the Showgrounds.
And after a morale-boosting cup run last season, Sligo boss Liam Buckley is targeting another cup run in the North-West.
“The focus is on the FAI Cup this week, the competition is wide open, and anyone can win it, Buckley told his club’s media team.
“That may sound like something you hear all the time but I really believe it is the case, because particularly in this type of season, anything can happen where a team can go on a run and it doesn’t matter what division they are in.
“We’d love to be in the mix late in the competition, and I feel we can be, but the only way that is going to happen is if we start by overcoming UCD.
“That is the only objective. We’ve studied them, Dave Campbell has been to see them live, we’ve given them due respect and they are your typical UCD side in terms of style and playing out.
“I think Andy Myler will be pleased with how they are shaping up and undoubtedly they will be looking for at least a play-off spot, if not trying to get that automatic place. Their result last week certainly showed that.”
He added: “It’s a one-off game where anything can happen, so we have to be prepared for it. The FAI Cup is a big part of any season, so we have to go out and get the result we need to progress in it.”
Danny Kane is expected to be the only confirmed absentee for Sligo on Sunday evening as Regan Donelon, Will Seymore, Garry Buckley and John Mahon are all expected to be part of the matchday squad.
Referee: Adriano Reale.
UCD played Sligo Rovers in last year’s FAI Cup, with the Bit O’ Red sailing past the then Maciej Tarnogrodzki managed side by four goals to nil.
Sligo Rovers are unbeaten against UCD in their previous six games, with the Students last win over Sligo Rovers coming in July 2014.
However, when Sligo have lost two of their previous three games against First Division sides in the FAI Cup, losing against Longford Town in both 2017 and 2018.
UCD 7/2; Draw 13/5; Sligo Rovers 8/13.
UCD 2 - 1 Sligo Rovers
Injured: Danny Kane.