Coleman reacts to win over Bohs
Manager John Coleman was pleased with last night’s 3-2 win over Bohemians, but insists there’s still work to be done.
Rovers were without Ruairi Keating, Paul O’Conor, Iarfhlaith Davoren and Danny Ledwith through suspension, while Alan Keane, Gary Rogers and Jeff Henderson all missed out through injury.
While suspensions and injuries affected the Rovers squad, Coleman feels the break this weekend is needed.
‘I’m delighted with the win and I’m delighted with the three points. We’re still not right and we didn’t play well enough in the first-half. You’ve got to give Bohemians a lot of credit. They pressed high up the pitch and their work ethic was very, very good. We thought that they wouldn’t be able to keep it up, and they didn’t. We did step it up in the second half and probably in the end deserved to win. We had a bit more force in the second-half’, he said.
He continued: ‘If we can get a fuller squad we can go on a decent run until the end of the season. We’ve still got to improve our play. We were still nowhere near I know we can play in the first-half. We’ve got to shake ourselves out of this rut we’ve got ourselves in. It was only three weeks ago that we were superb against Dundalk.’
‘I think a lot of it (Bohs good play) was down to how we played. We’re not feeling sorry for ourselves but we’ve gone a bit flat. When you have so many players out injured and suspended it takes its toll on you. It’s showing now and possibly the break we have now will do us good.’
Youngsters Regan Donelon and Gary Boylan both started yesterday’s game, and the manager was left impressed with their performance.
‘The two of them were superb. Every League of Ireland club has that problem, bridging that gap from u19s to the first team. There’s no u21s or feeder team. Players can lose their way. If they’re good enough you’ve got to be prepared to blood them. I’ve certainly never been afraid to give youth players an opportunity and I thought the two lads did ever so well tonight, they showed a great appetite for the game. Both got forward and put balls into the box. It’s encouraging and it bodes well for them for the future.’
While he feels he has the three best midfielders in the league in his ranks, he says Rovers needed to get them more involved last night.
‘You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that when we’re on song we’ve got the three best midfielders in the league – Cawley, Conneely, and Russell. It’s just a shame that we couldn’t get them on the ball in the first half. We need to get back to being exciting and enthralling the crowd. That’s something we said to them at half-time and thankfully they responded.’
Just six games remain for the Bit o’Red this season, and motivating players is not a problem for Coleman, who firmly believes Rovers are still good enough to finish in fifth.
‘I don’t seem to have a problem with motivating players. I love football that much and every game is special to me. You feel privileged to be able to play. The first thing that motivates you is playing in public. I want to win every game. I still miss not playing. When you’ve got the opportunity to play, you should grab it with both hands. It could one day be your last game. That’s where we’re trying to motivate them. They should have that inward desire to want to win games, no matter how relatively importantly people view the game as. I view every game as important. Because people are giving up money and a lot of precious time to come and support you.
‘I think we’re good enough to finish fifth. Obviously we’ll have four players back that we can choose from next time we play. So the squad should be healthier by that time.’