Rovers v Shams: Robbo's View
Dave Robertson is keen to see the good run of form continue as Rovers enter the final series of games.
A six game unbeaten run has seen Rovers rise as high as a current position of fifth in the league with 12 games remaining.
Despite the run Robertson says his team are still not fully at their best:
“I don’t think it is necessarily the best football we have played all season. What we have done is learned to be more resilient. We have developed and grown as a team in that respect. As a squad we are playing wiser.
“It was tough at times in Turner’s Cross on Monday night. We had to dig deep and defend with discipline. But the attacking side of our game was very impressive in the first half. Overall we have become better at adapting to situation as the come up in games.”
The Bit o’Red’s current points total is 31 which already has matched what was achieved last year, at this point Robertson has re-evaluated the team’s targets for the year:
“We have re-evaluated our goals for the rest of the season having got to the number of points that was reached last season. We sat down and had a discussion about what we need to do between now and the end of this year. That is not just for the league but in the FAI Cup as well. Collectively we have agreed what we think is achievable for the rest of the year but that will stay between the team. Now we can re-focus and go again for the rest of the year.”
Both Kieran Sadlier and Raff Cretaro are Rovers’ top scorers with seven and both have scored in the last two wins. This aspect of the team is one Robertson is more than satisfied with:
“It’s excellent to have two players scoring like they are. Raff is the experienced one who is proven in the League of Ireland. Kieran is a young, exciting up and coming talent. We have added goals to his game now. It is fantastic to see both of them pushing each other as both have scored seven goals this year now. They both want to get the best out of each other.
“We also have brought in Achille Campion who scored in his first game. Then there are goals in other areas from Daniel Kearns, John Russell, Phil Roberts, Liam Martin and Jimmy Keohane when he slots back into midfield after Regan returns. That’s something that is really pleasing for me. It allows us to attack on many different fronts and that makes it difficult for teams up against us.”
Robertson has respect for Shamrock Rovers new manager Stephen Bradley and his initial success since taking charge:
“I think their style will be different. Stephen Bradley has gone into the job and done a good job. He has a clear philosophy of wanting to keep possession and pass the ball. He has introduced some young talent into the team who will play without any fear. So far Stephen has done well even though they lost on Monday to St. Pat’s. For his first managerial job he has done well. But we will be focusing on ourselves and our style. We will be fighting hard tomorrow. We are six games unbeaten since the break and haven’t lost at home since the game with Shamrock Rovers in March and rest assured we will be fighting tooth and nail and battling to maintain that.”