Baraclough: We will keeping working to improve form
Sligo Rovers manager Ian Baraclough has said his side will remain positive in their quest to return to winning wins after the 0-0 draw with Bohemians in The Showgrounds on Saturday.
The Bit o’ Red were held by Bohs despite 18 shots on goal as they failed to make a breakthrough against Aaron Callaghan’s side.
After a remarkable run of scoring in 28 out of the last 29 home games in the league, Rovers have failed to hit the target in the last two in The Showgrounds and also away to Bray Wanderers and Limerick.
Despite the downturn in form, the Rovers boss has told his players to maintain their perseverance and goals will come.
Baraclough said: “It was not for a want of trying against Bohs. We were probing and passing and trying to create the chances. We hit the post, we hit the bar, one cleared off the line and the majority of the game we dominated possession and I thought we pressed them well. It just didn’t happen for us.
“In the second half there was a bit of naivety. At times I think we tried to run with it rather than passing or we went for a world class ball rather than keeping it simple and moving them about.
“Again I thought for the majority we were excellent without having the finishing touch.
“There can be an anxiety that seeps into players and frustrations come out as well but you have to be big enough and strong enough to cope with that to keep coming back and wanting more and striking. Something will turn for us.
“You don’t suddenly become a bad attacking force overnight. We are just going through a period where teams are coming, trying to make it difficult for us, but we are creating chances. One of them will go and hopefully the floodgates will open.”
One of the positives on the night was a first start for Liam Martin, the former scholarship player that has featured as a substitute on several occasions this season.
Martin impressed in the game before tiring in the second half but the performance earned praise from the manager.
He said: “I think he did really well and I’m really pleased for him. He has been coming on for 10, 15, 20 minutes here and there. We gave him his start on Saturday and he wasn’t afraid. He was really positive with it.
“If he made a mistake he came back and make up for it. I was enjoying watching him. He got a little bit tired which was understandable.
“He came off and said he was shattered and he can be really proud of the hour he has put in.”
The Bit o’ Red trail the leaders Pat’s by seven points, although Rovers have a game-in-hand, and Baraclough is confident his side will find the exceptional early season results that took Rovers to the league’s summit and start closing the gap shortly.
“The players are giving absolutely everything. There is no bad eggs in there, there is nobody who is just turning up and picking the money up.
“We will keep doing the right things, and keep encouraging the fellows to be positive. If you get criticised for making mistakes, they will be big enough and strong enough to go and cope with it. We have to be positive in everything we do and it will turn.
“I’m not worried about other results at this moment in time. There is still plenty of points for us to go on and get on the board and win this Premier Division. Points are being put on the board by others at the moment and we are just picking up a point as we go along. It is a spell we are going through.
“We have to be big enough and strong enough to play through this period to get back to winning ways and winning regularly. I’m not worried at the moment but I’m disappointed and nobody is more disappointed than me. I go home, I take it home, I analyse a game, think about it in my sleep and call me a sad man if you like but I eat, breathe and sleep football and how I can improve things. I’m constantly trying to find ways.
“Come UCD we will have worked hard again all week. That is what the players do, it doesn’t take me to keep banging the drum at them. They want to be the best players that they can and I will encourage and guide them anyway I can. “