Baraclough rallies players after cup progress
Ian Baraclough has reminded his players of what they can achieve this season after reaching the FAI Cup quarter-finals on Saturday night by beating Cork City.
Gavin Peers headed Rovers into the last eight against the Rebels in a 1-0 win after dominating proceedings in The Showgrounds.
Rovers are now aiming to reach a fourth semi-final in five seasons in the competition.
Baraclough said: "It has to spur the lads on. We spoke about it before the game in the build-up to tonight. How many of you have tasted a cup final? There is quite a few of them in the dressing-room who have and a desire to go back there again.
"Do you remember the celebrations, do you remember the build-up, do you remember everything?
"The fervour around the town and you want to recreate that again. It has to drive you on."
The Rovers boss was pleased to see his side progress and while he was not overly content with the performance, securing a place in tonight’s draw was the overall goal.
Danny North played most of the game after recovering from injury to start. It was an added bonus for Baraclough.
He said: "It is just two games from the Aviva. That was the intention from the start. However we did get through, it didn't matter to us. But it was pleasing we did get a decent performance. I don't think it was for the full 90 minutes. It was never going to be easy against a youthful Cork City side that Stuart is now in charge of.
"He has got some good values that he has passed across to his players. They made it tough for us. First half we were a little bit lethargic with our play. In the second half the tempo was a lot better. We play better at that sort of tempo.
"Now you can't keep that tempo for the full 90 minutes, you have to manage the game at times, but certainly by pressing teams and forcing them into mistakes, it gets us on the front foot and we're a better team like that.
"We had several chances again and one or two people frustrated. I know Danny North would have loved to cap his return off with a goal. I thought he did really well.
"Eighty-six minutes was more time than I expected him to get from it. He looked sharp and in the second half as well. He was frustrated at times that the final ball isn't quite there for him.
"It broke down on quite a few tonight. But you have to keep encouraging them to keep trying and it will come off. Don't get downhearted and you will get rewarded eventually."
As well as the quarter-final draw, Rovers return to league action this Saturday against Limerick in The Showgrounds.
Leaders St Patrick’s Athletic and Dundalk will play Bohemians and UCD respectively on Friday, meaning Rovers will be the final side from the challengers to play this weekend.
Baraclough wants to see a cup run coincide with a late push for the league crown.
"You hope that you can get a home draw again. Whoever we draw now it will be a tough one. To get through to a cup final or two win a cup you have to beat some really good teams along the way.
"We have just beaten a top six side there in Cork. They have slipped into sixth position and you can see why. We have got over that hurdle and we move on to Monday's draw.
"It is one of those where teams look at the cup and say we could do without this. I don't believe that. I try to win every competition we are in. A run in the cup can have a knock on effect to league form. Hopefully that will be the case.
"To get the win, it hopefully gives the players that boost and a bit of self-confidence that winning can bring. It can put away that doubt you can have at times. That doubt will never come from myself or the coaching staff. Sometimes self-belief can wane. It is an energy-sapper.