Wednesday 26 April 2017

Finn calls on Hoops to show self-belief

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

SHAMROCK ROVERS midfielder Ronan Finn reckons his team lack the belief to play attractive football.

The Hoops scored a stunning passing goal to secure victory over St Patrick's Athletic last Sunday, Gary Twigg putting the finishing touches to a lengthy move in which Finn played a huge part.

Manager Michael O'Neill has come in for criticism from fans and pundits over the team's direct approach, but former Sporting Fingal star Finn insists that Rovers have the players -- but not the assurance -- to pass the ball more effectively.

With next week's Champions League clash against Flora Tallinn looming, Finn thinks Rovers have to start keeping the ball better.

"We seem to be lacking a bit of confidence," he said. "I'm not sure why, because we do have the players to do it. Maybe it doesn't always come off, but against Pat's it was one of those moves that you dream about.

"We need to be playing more football because we mightn't have the ball that much (in Europe) against the kind of teams that are very technical.

"But the main thing was that we beat Pat's. It was really important that we got back to winning ways.

"As a team, I don't think we've been firing on all cylinders over the last few weeks. Hopefully beating Pat's will help us will come back into our game, especially with Europe coming up."

The victory over St Pat's was particularly crucial for O'Neill, coming as it did after a tumultuous few weeks during which the Hoops hit a bump in form and lost assistant manager Trevor Croly.

Finn revealed that the players made their feelings known on the situation at a team meeting in the aftermath of the 2-0 defeat to Sligo and that the manager -- who could appoint Tony Cousins as his new assistant -- listened to what they had to say.

"Last week after the Sligo game we were all disappointed," said Finn. "We had a very constructive meeting after the game, without slating anybody.

"We just talked about the way things were -- training and the club in general.

"We all voiced our opinions and a lot of positives came out of it. I think that showed on Sunday. The gaffer was very happy after the game -- mainly because of our attitude.

"That's the first time that has really happened, with players talking about how they want their training structured and it's changed this week. I think it has changed for the better.

"Without going into detail, we just changed things a bit and I think everybody was a little bit fresher going out onto the pitch."

The Hoops face a tough trip to the Brandywell on Friday night to take on fourth-placed Derry City and Finn is targeting a win at the hostile venue.

"We will definitely be going up to Derry to win the game," he said. "They came down here a few weeks ago and they did well. We have got to do the same. Our attitude has to be like it was at the start of the season.

"With the squad we have, we can't go into any match thinking that a point is good enough. We have to be going out to win games."

Irish Independent

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