The Bit O'Red manager will be hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's defeat by UCD at the Belfield Bowl but stressed that there are many positives to take from recent performancesSligo Rovers manager Ian Baraclough says that his team must be 'on top of [their] game' if they are to defeat UCD this evening, Monday, April 1.
The former Scunthorpe United boss is aware that his team's only loss before they were confirmed as Airtricity Premier Division champions last season was at the hands of UCD at the Belfield Bowl, but he is eager to ensure that his side comes out on top this season.
"We've had UCD watched and they've got a big personnel to choose from of young, talented players who will give their all for 90 plus minutes," Baraclough told the club's official website. "They'll feel like they have a bit of an Indian sign over us at last year and they are at home."
He continued: "They will believe they can cause us problems and we have to cope with it and be on top of our game to come away with a good outcome.
"We were caught out last year for whatever reason against them and deservedly beaten. We'll put all our energy into Monday's game and know that it's up to us to go out there and play to our strengths.
The champions welcome back captain Danny Ventre for the game, but defender Gavin Peers remains a doubt as he struggles to recover from a hamstring injury.
Nevertheless, Baraclough, whose side have won all their games in all competitions thus far this season, has taken confidence from his side's 3-0 away win to Bohemians on Friday, March 29.
"We had a look at one or two clips from Friday's game," he said. "Overall our game plan worked, it was our first time playing 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 and we had to adapt.
He added: "You have to have the right players to do that and it's important we can. There were certain things we didn't get right but I said to the players beforehand you have to find a way to win.
"It might not be pretty but you have to get the result and we did that," concluded Baraclough.