By Alan Finn
NO matter their beloved team’s place in the table or ambitions for the season, The Clash of the Rovers is always the standout out fixture for supporters of the Bit O’Red.
While the most recent periods of success have both come and gone for the clubs, the rivalry remains as strong as ever and Dave Robertson’s men will be keen to avenge what has been their only defeat at home to date which was suffered at the hands of their Dublin namesakes on the first night of the season in March.
A lot has changed since the last meeting of the teams (also a defeat to Shams in Tallaght). While the fortunes of Sligo’s Rovers have improved tenfold, the Tallaght outfit have gradually slipped into a decline as the season has gone on.
While it may have sounded like one of the most unexpected managerial casualties of the season, the sacking of Pat Fenlon should have come as no surprise to anyone.
Shams flattered to deceive under the guidance of Fenlon – comfortable against teams in the lower rungs of the Premier Division but failing to stamp their authority against those around them. Shams appeared to be all too comfortable as a side failing to challenge for the title, an unacceptable mindset as far as those passionate Hoops fans are concerned as they expected much more from a five-time Premier Division winning manager with a decent budget and squad at his disposal.
Fenlon’s departure midway through their two-legged European tie with Finnish side RoPS proved to be the final straw as their adventure began and ended with a whimper.
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