Athlone Town boss Terry Butler expects his player to step-up to the challenge of league leaders Shelbourne.
“The funny thing is some of the games against Shelbourne and the bigger teams like Longford Town, the bigger crowd, the players are lifting their game for them” explained Butler.
“I’d expect the lads to step-up and it’ll be a really good competitive game” added Butler.
Shels travel to Athlone with the hosts having lost out 2-1 to Cobh Ramblers last weekend and Butler admitted the sides lack of experience has cost them this season.
“When you give away goals against Cabinteely in the 93rd minute, the hand ball, the penalty that should have been given against Limerick.”
“That’s seven or nine points game make a huge difference, like we would have been in the middle of the table” added Buttle.
“I think we can finish in the top half of the table” explained Butler, “We’ve a very young team so it’s a learning curve with these players.”
Shelbourne boss Ian Morris believes Athlone are “a tricky team with a lot of pace.”
“They’ve got a lot of energy and youthful exuberance. They have a good astro where they want to play and have done well at home this season so it’s going to be tough for us,” added Morris
League leaders Shelbourne will be without defender John Ross Wilson and midfielder Darragh Noone through injuries while Lorcan Fitzgerald is suspended and Denzil Fernandes is doubtful.
Athlone Town v Shelbourne
Athlone Town Stadium, 7.45pm
Referee: Andrew Mullally