Robertson challenges players
Dave Robertson has challenged his players to give him a selection headache ahead of the last pre-season friendly against Athlone Town on Sunday (kick-off 5pm).
Following on from Rovers' 1-0 victory over Finn Harps on Tuesday night, Robertson wants his players to perform at their very best on Sunday in order to give him a dilemma over who to choose in the starting eleven for the season opener against Limerick.
"The main aims and outcomes that we want from the game against Athlone is really to make sure that everybody, I mean the entire squad, have got the minutes that they need in their legs ahead of the season. If I'm being brutally honest I really want the players to give me a headache. If they go out and perform well, those who play in that game, then what they'll do is they'll affect my mindset as to who the starting eleven is going to be.
"I have a good idea of who that is going to be but as ever good performances will affect a manager's mindset and one thing I asked my players to do is to manage the manager and the best way to do that is to perform at the highest levels they possibly can and influence my mind," he said.
Although Robertson was left disappointed by his side's first-half performance, he was pleased with the response in the second-half, in which John Russell's superb strike was enough for Rovers to seal the victory.
"The first half was probably one of the poorest 45 minutes I've seen us play. I'm being brutally honest here. The performance levels were nowhere near good enough, there was nowhere near enough energy about us. There was nowhere near enough competitiveness about us, I said to the players at half-time the only positive I could take was that we kept a clean sheet. They didn't really threaten us that much. In the second half I thought the response from the players was much better. We had more energy about us, our movement was much better, our competitiveness was much better. We found ways to create plenty of opportunities.
"Russell does really well for the goal after an excellent press from Jonah, then we turn the ball over and then after that Mikey Place has two fantastic opportunities to score which he should take and there's a great diving header from Chris Kenny late on which forced a magnificent save. Overall it was pleasing, the pleasing bit was the second half. The first half was something that we addressed and got a positive response from."
Listen to the full post-match interview here: