Coleman urges Sligo to 'put fans on edge of their seats'
Sligo Rovers 3 Athlone Town 1
Sligo Rovers manager John Coleman has demanded more entertainment from his team.
John Russell's opener and a late Evan McMillan brace put a gloss on the scoreline for the home side after a lacklustre display at the Showgrounds, and Coleman wants his players to show more urgency and flair for the remainder of the season.
"I'm made up that we have won the game, but I want us to enthuse the fans. I want them on the edge of their seats. I want to be excited myself and I want the players to experience the thrill of playing good, entertaining football and the buzz that you get from scoring goals."
The sides were scoreless after a dull first half, with the best chance falling to Sligo defender Kalen Spillane inside the opening five minutes.
The home fans must have been expecting a better second half after Russell fired them ahead two minutes after the break, but they had to wait until the 82nd minute for McMillan to score the first of his three-minute brace, with both goals coming from corners.
The scoreline was harsh on the visitors, though they did at least claim a consolation goal from debutant Sam O'Connor, who came off the bench for the last 10 minutes.
Coleman added: "We were very flat in the first half to be honest and it wasn't so much that the players needed a roasting at half-time, but they needed a reality check.
"We were a lot better in the second half, we put more crosses in the box and we were on the front foot a bit more, but there is no point in us kidding ourselves saying everything is fine just because we won 3-1.
"We were delighted to win, but I know we can be better than that. I know we have got the quality and I expect the players to show it."
Sligo rovers – Rogers, Keane, McMillan, Spillane, Davoren (Ledwith 13), Cawley, Conneely, Russell, Maguire, Kavanagh (Keating 72), Zayed (Donelon 87).
Athlone town – Coulter, Hayes, Prendergast, Byrne (Dunne 84), Knight, Mulroy (O'Brien 61), Foley, Hughes (O'Connor 79), Doyle, Dillon, Gorman.
Ref – R Mathews.