Rovers 1 Galway 1: Robbo's Verdict
Sligo Rovers manager Dave Robertson was able to take the positives from his side’s 1-1 draw with Galway United on Monday evening.
Rovers got off to a brilliant start scoring after just 49 seconds through Liam Martin, before Galway equalised through former Rovers man Ruairi Keating in the second-half.
But, considering Galway picked up two victories before meeting Rovers, Robertson knew it was a good point for his side.
“Galway have come here full of confidence. It’s a good point for us. I thought we started really well. Liam Martin got us off to a dream start with an early goal and then as the game materialised we let Ryan Connolly get on the ball, he’s an excellent footballer. He nearly opened us up a couple of times. We changed things around tactically and Jordan Richards did a good job on that – he neutralised that threat.
“We re-grouped at half-time. We went in at 1-0 which was a good situation. We spoke to the players about what the expectation was in the second-half. I’m disappointed we got done by the finer details. We were done by a wide free-kick.
“It was disappointing for me that we don’t deal with those things. They’re things we work on religiously on the training ground and that for me was disappointing. As the game went on we faded out. It was played in a derby-type fashion – neither team wanted to lose the game. It’s points on board for us and we’ll re-group for Saturday.”
Martin’s goal was his first of the season, and indeed Rovers’ first of the season, and Robertson was left raving about his performance.
“It’s fantastic for Liam Martin. I’ve been very impressed with him. I thought he was excellent this evening. It’s great for him. As people would know he was here before, then two years at Ballinamallard and he’s come back having matured. The fans can see how much it matters to him and how much he cards, and that comes out in his performances.”
Having kept out numerous excellent Galway opportunities, Robertson felt disappointed that his side couldn’t hold on to their 1-0 lead.
“Our defensive structure has been very good. It’s why I’m very disappointed because at 1-0 up at half-time we know that if we do the right things in the second-half then we get three points. That’s what we were after.”
Midfielder John Russell made his first start of the season having undergone surgery during the winter. And while the Galway native is still not 100% fit, Robertson says his return from injury is a huge positive.
“It was a boost to have him back. I’m expecting to see better performance levels from John. This evening it was good for him to get 45 minutes under his belt but he’s going to have to work hard on the training ground to fully understand how we play. He’s a great lad, great in and around the building and great with the lads. He’ll keep progressing – it’s been a long lay-off and obviously after his operation it’s good to see him back on the pitch.”
The Bit o’Red meet neighbours Finn Harps this Saturday evening at The Showgrounds, and with the exception of Philip Roberts who will be suspended, Robertson will have a fully fit squad to choose from.
“They’re all big games. That’s the beauty of the league. We all know what to expect and we’ll be planning and preparing for that starting tomorrow. It’s good that games are coming thick and fast. The pleasing thing for me is that we haven’t got any injuries. The only one who won’t be available will be Philip Roberts and everyone will be ready and raring to go on Saturday.”
Listen to the full post-match interview below: