Stevens praises character as Rovers hit five past UCD
Assistant manager Gary Stevens praised the character shown by the Sligo Rovers players as they recorded a 5-2 win over UCD in The Showgrounds on Saturday night.
The Bit o’ Red came into the game on the back of one win in four games and failed to score in those matches, an uncharacteristic run of form for the club.
UCD took the lead after 90 seconds through David McMillan in Saturday’s, giving the Bit o’ Red a big challenge to overcome, but they responded superbly by hitting the net five times thanks to Aaron Greene, David Cawley, Kieran Djilali and Joseph, along with a Students own goal.
Stevens told Ocean FM: “It is always good to win and we needed to. If you look at our recent league games, we haven't really won enough of those games regardless of how we played. I don't think we were at our best on Saturday either but we did win, and scoring a few goals is good for confidence.
“It wasn't a good start. But I think the players showed a bit of character. Lesser players might have got stage fright a little bit. We know what we can do. We are confident and we have players with ability. No disrespect to UCD, they have young players themselves and we should knock them over.
“I think the truth is a number of players come up against Sligo Rovers and they get numbers behind the ball and say can you break us down. We have struggled to do it a little bit recently. UCD came out and had a bit more of a go. When a team comes out, it leaves a few spaces for us to exploit.”
The win leaves Rovers four points behind leaders St Patrick’s Athletic and with a game in hand against Cork City to be played at the beginning of next month.
The champions are next in action against Shelbourne on Friday week in Tolka Park and Stevens is hopeful a number of the players on the sidelines because of injury will be able to return.
“We are in contention. We are halfway through the season and we are in touch. Our destiny is in our own hands because you look at the games we still have to play and the teams we still have to play. Everything is to play for. I think we're in a nice position.
“We have a number of injured players. If you look behind our dugout and into the stand and the talent we had sat there than rather on the pitch, we need them back.
“We want a full squad. We have a little break now, every one is going to have a few days off but not too many and then back to it. But I think the little break we have now will do everybody a favour.”