We have to be fearless in Cup tie, says Rogers
It’s 100 games up for goalkeeper Gary Rogers on Friday night in Dundalk.
There has been big matches, critical moments and much achieved over 99 times in the #bitored shirt since first signing on 20 December 2011.
On the century night this Friday, he’ll be looking to the fundamentals that has brought those times – for Rovers to go out and leave their best on the field and seeing just how good it can be.
The Bit o’ Red will be underdogs for the game with the Lilywhites as we begin the defence of the competition won in three of the last four seasons.
Rovers will be without some key men, David Cawley (suspension) and Gavin Peers (injury) are confirmed as absent and there are further injury concerns heading into Friday night, but for Rogers that can't tally as a reason to be downtrodden in the build-up to the game.
In this, his 100th appearance in a Rovers shirt, comes a big ask as Rovers look to shake off two hard-hitting defeats, but he wants his team-mates to be fearless and ready to show what they are made of.
“We have to go there thinking we can win. This is where you find out what you're really made of. I believe we're good enough. I believe we're good enough to beat Dundalk again and win another trophy in the year and turn it around.
“If we are being realistic, the Cup is the best chance of getting a second trophy now. The league will return next week and we'll think about how we can try to claw back the deficit to the teams above us but for now we have to look at this game with Dundalk and know we’re capable of coming away with a place in the next round.
“They've been in fantastic form since that Setanta Cup final and I don't think too many people will give us a chance. People will look at the run they are on and the expectation will be they will win the game. But at the end of the day, the players that go out there know they are good enough to win. We'll give it a good go.”
There’ll be at least one change to the Rovers side with Cawley ruled out and it will hand an opportunity to a player in the squad, with the Mayo midfielder largely an ever-present in the team.
Rogers is the only Rovers player to play every league minute this season and will take the goalkeeper shirt for the 100th time on Friday.
He wants the players entrusted in Oriel Park to make their mark.
“We're all given a jersey and every one of those players want to play. We might be down a few bodies but it just means someone else will get a chance and it's up to them then to show why they should have been playing and why they want to keep it.
“I'm the same, I know Brushy is there ready to take my place and he is driving me on.
“We have to start somewhere in putting a run together.
“Not only did we do it for eight matches prior to the defeats in the last couple of weeks, we did it for 10 games at the start of last season and we have won Cup ties when we’ve been up against it as well. It has to happen again and I believe we can do it.”