Monday 20 May 2019

Manager Buckley hopes win over Dundalk can be a 'benchmark'

Sligo Rovers manager Liam Buckley wants Friday night's win over the champions Dundalk to be a benchmark for his side as they enter the second series of fixtures.

The Bit O'Red were 2-1 winners over the Lilywhites at The Showgrounds on Friday evening, their first league win since in four games.

Rovers took the lead after just 27 seconds thanks to Romeo Parkes, before Pat Hoban pulled one back through a penalty.

But Dante Leverock restored the home side's lead once again just before half-time, with Rovers hanging on to secure a precious three points.

And Buckley felt that his side were deserving winners on the night.

"The lads played really well. There was great commitment from them all. I thought we deserved it over the 90 minutes."

It was a result and indeed a performance that Buckley has felt coming in recent weeks, remaining adamant that things would get better despite results not going his way.

"I thought we played very well against Bohemians in the first half. It was unfortunate with the sending off.

"That was the turning point in that game.

"Tonight was great commitment. All the lads were fully behind where we are coming from. We have been under-achieving in recent weeks.

"They've done really well tonight and hopefully we can build on that."

The former St. Patrick's Athletic manager praised the work of his striker Romeo Parkes who netted the opener.

"It was really good tic-tac play to create the chance for Romeo. He took it really well."

Buckley and his players have had to deal with a number of nuisances in recent games, such as Ronan Murray's sending off against Bohs.

When Rovers conceded a penalty on Friday night, most would have been thinking that this would be the turning point in the game, for Dundalk.

"The way things have been going with injuries, sickness and suspensions; you do sometimes feel the worst coming on. But I thought the lads dug in really well and I think we deserved the victory."

Parkes did pick up a hamstring injury on Friday night and was being assessed over the weekend. Buckley has had to contend with a number of injuries throughout the course of the season already, rarely having a full squad at his disposal.

"We've been unfortunate with that. We'll get there at some stage."

The Rovers boss, however, wasn't getting carried away with that result, as he wants Rovers to push on now and go on a good run of form.

"It (the result) can be a benchmark; that effort, desire to pick up results. I thought our general play was quite good.

"One or two of the lads did really well. Romeo did really well. I'm delighted for them all because they have all been putting in a serious shift in training.

"We just have to push on now."

Rovers hosted Waterford last night at The Showgrounds in their re-arranged game, while they travel to Inchicore this Friday night.

Sligo Champion