Pats 1 Rovers 1: Robbo's Verdict
Dave Robertson had praise for his players in earning a point from a road game with St. Pat’s last night but still wants his team to add more of a killer instinct in front of goal.
Gary Boylan’s first Bit o’Red goal had Rovers go in ahead at the break but a Christy Fagan leveller meant Rovers followed up last week’s impreesive point against Cork City with another from the Saints.
Robertson said his team came to Richmond Park with a clear game plan and saw his team execute well on the night.
He said after the game: “I couldn’t ask any more of the players in terms of their effort, in terms of their discipline and sticking to the game plan. We had a clear structure. We knew about their threat, we knew about St. Pat’s who are a very good footballing side. They have a clear philosophy on how they want to play and we knew what we needed to deal with. I felt that we done that really well especially in the first half.
“We came in at the break having scored at a good time and in a good position. Second half we’ve come out, created a couple of great opportunities. Sads had a great chance, Jimmy Keohane followed it in and that time it makes it a little bit more difficult for them to come back if we get that second goal. For me we are happy with the performance but we have to be a little disappointed not to take the three points only because we have to have that little more of an edge and a ruthless instinct in front of goal and when we are creating those opportunities to finish team off.
The goal came for Pat’s midway through the second 45 minutes but the flow of the game remained largely unchanged with Robertson glad about the impact of his substitutions on the game:
“Russell has done unbelievable in coming back from his injury, we started him tonight to see how long we could get but we could see him tiring a bit and I wanted to re-energise a bit in midfield. I brought Jordan Richards on and I thought he did that really, really well. It was a double substitution bring Raff on with his experience managing the game and also giving us that little bit more energy at that time in the game, pressing could have caused them more problems and it did. We created opportunities, the lads went right the way through to the finish.
“The other bit I am really pleased to see Mikey Place, 17 year-old scored for the under-19s last week come on and have a right go. I think the fans can see we definitely are, we are giving it everything that we possibly can to turn these performances into wins now. It’s just that final edge that we need now.”
Goalscorer Gary Boylan had another outstanding game to follow up a great showing in the Cork City draw also, Robertson has really liked what he has seen from the Belmullet defender.
“He’s done unbelievable. I just said to him I would have given him man of the match I thought he was excellent. Christy Fagan I think is one of the best centre forwards in the league and we knew that we had to deal with him. We know how good his movement is and what his movement patterns are. We spoke about that this week and Gary Boylan along with Mick Leahy I thought was excellent.
“He’s growing and maturing all the time. He’s waited for his opportunity, he’s had it. I said to him he did really well against Sean Maguire of Cork last week, an in-form centre-forward, what he needs to do now and build on this as a platform and make sure his next performance is the same. There’ll be tested again next week when they go up against Kilduff or McMillan for Dundalk. There was a few alarm bells from the supporters with them coming in and Tim and Gav being out but both of them equipped themselves really, really well.”
With Dundalk to come in a week’s time Robertson would now like to see his team apply dome better finishing on the end of their good play: “We’ve got to stop saying it and start doing it, that’s the challenge I have laid down to the players. They are more than willing and are up for that challenge. We are in a good place, we are improving and we are adapting really well to life in the League of Ireland and we are coming together with our understanding of that as a group. I don’t think it’s going to be that long in coming.”
Listen to the full post-match interview below: