Derry City travel to Athlone Town tonight for their last game before their two week mid-season break and Barry Molloy wants to maintain their seven-point gap at summit of the table.
In March a Mark Scoltock header was enough to separate the sides and the midfielder knows it’s not going to be easy at the Athlone Town Stadium this evening.
“It’s going to be tough game because they have had some good results particularly at home and defensively they aren’t conceding many goals,” admitted Molloy.
“Having said all that we’ll be approaching the game in a positive frame of mind and we want to maintain our seven-point lead at the top.
“We are scoring a lot of goals this season and aren’t letting many in at the other end, so confidence is certainly high in the dressing room, but we aren’t over confident.
“The manager (Stephen Kenny) and Declan Devine make sure we approach every game looking to win it and tonight will be no different, but they also ensure that we respect every side we play.”
In their last league outing the Candystripes defeated title contenders Waterford United and although some supporters have already started to dream of life back in the Airtricity Premier Division, Molloy knows there are still a long way to go.
“At one stage this season we were five points behind Waterford and we are now seven clear, so we know that things can turn around quickly but we will keep our feet on the ground.”
City have striker Mark Farren available for selection and Emmett Friars remains a doubt with an ankle problem, but Shane McEleney, Ruairi Harkin, Stephen Parkhouse and Seamus Sharkey are injured. If they overcome Bray, Derry will be away to Premier Division side UCD.
Cliftonville are to join north-Belfast neighbours Crusaders in laying an artificial pitch.
Work on installing the 3G surface will begin shortly, meaning that Cliftonville’s early fixtures will be moved, with the new pitch not ready until October.
The Reds’ Europa League game in July will now be played at the Oval, while their opening league fixtures will take place at Seaview.