Buckley pleased to see improvement in Rovers

Liam Buckley believes his side are improving in terms of team performance, as he targets further cohesion to win more matches early in this SSE Airtricity League season.

The Bit O’ Red were in scintillating form at times last night in the 3-1 success over Bohemians.

The game did ebb and flow with both sides having periods of dominance.

Some brilliant goals by Jordan Gibson, Mark Byrne and David Cawley won it for Rovers.

Buckley said:We’ve worked extremely hard. There wasn’t a lot in the game. That said, all of our goals were top class.

“Jordan was on the end of a great move. Mark Byrne had a lot to do for his goal and David Cawley’s strike was fantastic.

“We said at the start of the second half not to let Bohs play their way into it and not concede. It was a great strike by Liam Burt. We could get out quicker and close it down, but it was a great hit.

“We had to ride our luck a little bit. Bohs had that great chance through Ward I think. I know I’ve said it but there is more in the group.

“We know we’ve got good players here but it’s the team performance which will win us games.

“We need to play better than we’ve done tonight. I know we won the game and saw it out well at the end but I don’t think a 3-1 scoreline tells the story. It was a lot closer than that and to make sure you win games we need to improve on each performance if we can.”

The Rovers boss has kept a settled team throughout the first six games, which a maximum of one change per starting line-up and just 16 players used so far.

Byrne was denied his first goal, incorrectly, by an offside call against Dundalk earlier this season but he did get his moment last night.

Buckley admits he has been impressed by Byrne in the last year, with the 20-year-old doing well in pre-season and his substitute appearances.

“Mark is going to be a top player. I certainly know that. He has had to wait and he’s been unlucky not to be in the team the last few weeks. There’s a few more lads in the same category like Lewis Banks and Regan Donelon.

“Mark is only a couple of years older than Johnny Kenny. I see a bright future for both of them and I’m delighted for Mark to get his first goal.

“These lads who aren’t starting, they’re driving us on each week and we know they’re ready to step in. The lads in the team know if they don’t perform there are players who want to get in.”

It’s Derry City up next for the Bit O’ Red. Rovers are enjoying their best start to the season since 2013.

However, Buckley has warned of the dangers of the Candystripes as they begin to pick up points.

“We’re half a dozen games into the league. We’ve started alright. We’ve got Derry on Saturday and they had a good result last night against Dundalk.

“They’ve been a little bit unlucky so far. I have no doubt it’ll be dog rough again at the weekend.

“We’ve shown a bit of character over these previous games and if we continue on with that team-building process, we’ll give ourselves a chance of winning the game.”