Keane: We must take collective responsibility
Alan Keane said the Bit o’ Red have to take a collective responsibility for their poor league and FAI Cup results and called on unity to battle through what he describes as arguably the toughest challenge faced in his time in The Showgrounds.
An injury-hit Rovers exited the FAI Cup on Friday night against Dundalk and league defeats to the Lilywhites and Shamrock Rovers leaves hopes for European football next season in Sligo under huge threat.
Rovers are 11 points behind third place and 10 behind fourth ahead of Friday’s match against Derry City in The Showgrounds.
He told Ocean FM: “It has been a tough couple of weeks. We've had a bad year so far. Obviously we won the Setanta Cup but this early in the season to be out of everything is really disappointing for the players, manager and staff.
“Everyone wanted to win the Setanta Cup this year. But to get knocked out of the FAI Cup, a competition which was so good to us in the last few years, was really so disappointing.
“The players are very hurt over it. We've had a good few years but that doesn't mean that it is okay to have a bad one then.
“People might say this or that about the gaffer but it's us players that have to stand up and be counted ourselves.
“We are just as much to blame as anyone else. When we are out on the pitch the gaffer tells us to go and play and express ourselves.
“When we go out on the pitch we seem to be different and a lot of the blame falls on us as players.”
Friday night will be Super Red Day for the young Sligo Rovers fans as we say thank you to our young supporters club and fill out our family section in the ground.
It is also the final match before the mid-season break in the league.
Keane said that a defeatist attitude amongst any element of the club, players or fans, will mean it will be impossible to turn things around and said by staying together the club can come out stronger once again.
He said: “You look back at five years and we have given five good years. It doesn’t excuse anything but we're just going through a really bad time and we really need the fans to get behind us again.
“We have to roll our sleeves up now as players. We have to show what we are made of because we are playing for our futures. European qualification is very important here. This is our livlihoods and you need to think of next year for ourselves and the club. It is imperative we go on a good run and not rely on teams to win Cups to get into Europe.
“I know it's difficult, I know it's frustrating watching when we are losing games, but it does hurt us as well. It's time like this that you see true fans and we're asking them to come out against Derry and support us. I hope we see it and they back us.
“It's hurt us and it hurts everyone. I can see the frustration everywhere but I ask them to stick with us.”
Listen to the interview here: