Baraclough takes positives after Shams draw

Sligo Rovers manager Ian Baraclough rued the late concession of a goal in Tallaght Stadium as the Bit o’ Red earned a point against Shamrock Rovers.

David Cawley’s second half strike was cancelled out by Karl Sheppard to deny Rovers victory and see Derry City join the champions at the top of the table after their win over Limerick, leading on goal difference.

Anthony Elding was dismissed late on for an incident following the restart from Sheppard’s goal and he will face an upcoming suspension.

Baraclough said: “For over an hour I thought we were worthy of our 1-0 lead and there was only one team going to win it at that stage. Unfortunately we decided to defend too deep. We went deeper and deeper and it was like a car crash in the end. You could see it coming.

“When you're under pressure a little bit, through your own doing of going deeper and deeper, then panic can start to reign. I was disappointed that we didn't keep the ball better.

“We were panicking with our clearances a bit and when we were playing it up to Anthony Elding he was isolated so he could do very little with it.

“There are things we are learning. The lads are still learning, there are some young players there but there are some experienced ones too and you have to deal like things better.

“Whatever has gone on between Rice and Elding, I don't know, was it worthy of a sending off, I'm not sure. There was a coming together and I didn’t see it so I can’t comment.”

It left the Rovers players slightly deflated with only coming away with a point after leading for much of the second period. The match concluded the first series of games in the Airtricity Premier Division and the Rovers boss reflected on the season so far.

He said: “There are loads of positives tonight, you're disappointed with coming away from here with a 1-1 draw because there was only going to be one team winning it. Twenty six points from 11 games, it's a good return.

“Only for a good run by Derry we've now been knocked off top spot for the first time in well over a year. I don't think many times a Sligo Rovers team has been able to say that. I'm disappointed we're level on points but we're joint top and that is where we want to be.

“We've had to cope with some injuries in this tough period of games and a couple of suspensions as well. We're now going to have to deal with a couple more suspensions because of an accumulation of bookings and Anthony's which we'll see what comes through. I'm really pleased with where we are. One defeat in 11 games is a good return. We'll be looking to build on that in the second round of games to put ourselves a position for a final push in the third .

“We're not going to have it all our own way. Teams are not going to let us have it our own way. We had that first eight games and wins and people were maybe getting carried away with themselves and with us as a team as regarding we're going to walk the league. It doesn't happen.

“There is seven or eight teams fighting there that can think they can go and win a league. There is no complacency on our part.”

Raffaele Cretaro missed out for Rovers because of a thigh problem but Iarfhlaith Davoren and Ross Gaynor will return to the squad on Monday after serving bans.

With Elding now out for the clash with Derry, Baraclough is hoping Cretraro will be fit for the visit of the Candystripes.

The Rovers boss stated: “Raff trained on Wednesday and the first part of yesterday morning and he said there is something there. I wasn't going to risk him, hopefully another couple of days might be beneficial.”

Sligo Rovers v Derry City, The Showgrounds, Monday 6th May, 5pm

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