Thursday 23 May 2019

'We need to make the Showgrounds a disaster for other teams' - Buckley

Jessica Farry

He may have been calling for Regan Donelon to take that 74th minute free-kick, but Liam Buckley was thrilled that Jack Keaney decided to take it, curling it past Alan Mannus to earn all three points for the Bit O'Red.

Speaking after the game on Saturday night, Buckley said: "I was roaring at Regan, because both him and Jack take them, Jack scored that free-kick in Dundalk. Both of them are on our set-plays. Regan's are brilliant. I was roaring at Regan but maybe when they're far out Jack kicks them better so Regan's obviously said to him 'Jack you hit it' and what a great decision. Regan is fantastic hitting the ball too."

The Rovers boss praised the work of his players on Saturday night which earned a huge victory for the Bit O'Red against the league leaders.

"I'm delighted for them because they have been working hard and our results haven't really reflected what I believe the group can achieve. That said we're still in the process of getting this better. I thought Shamrock Rovers played better with the ball this evening from a possession point of view but we've taken our two chances brilliantly. The free-kick, it doesn't get any better. Maybe Messi's one but if you'd seen them both they would be in the same bracket.

"But Daryl Fordyce goal is top quality as well, he stepped inside. He does that in training quite a bit. We're just trying to get these guys in possession where they can be effective. I thought they've all put in a shift. I thought they've all worked hard defensively, you've seen the second-half we were under the cosh a little bit at times but we got back. We just need to have better possession and have the same drive and spirit that we showed here this evening, and we'll be OK."

Rovers are close to having a full squad now, with the exception of Kyle Callan-McFadden who remains out with a hand injury. Johnny Dunleavy was to be assessed over the weekend.

"Pre-season we missed a few fellas,coming into the season we'd have three fellas missing here, four here and two fellas. Kyle has been missing for the last week or two. Johnny has picked up a bit of a muscle injury. There's opportunities there for lads on the bench to get in the team. It will come around. We can't just play the same team every week so we will be changing it around."

The former St. Patrick's Athletic boss wants his players and of course the fans to make The Showgrounds a disaster for other teams.

"Our fans are fantastic. They get right behind the team, even through our bad performances here. We've churned out a really good result for them tonight. No doubt they will be chuffed, we need to build on that. We need to make this place a disaster to come. I remember when I was playing and you'd come up here, it can be a disaster to come up here especially when the crowd are behind the team."

He wants his players to believe that they are better than their league position, and to realise that they do not have to be battling in the bottom three.

"We've got to try and take every game on its merits. You're going into Waterford and they won 3-0 last night against St. Pats. It will be a tough game down there. Equally, we've got a great result here. We've beaten UCD on the road, we'll go down to Waterford and give it our best shot. We want everyone on the front foot.

"We're working hard on every game. Since the Bohs game when we played well in the first-half, I thought we were marginally better than them and they're up the top of the table. There has been a steady improvement and a realisation that we don't have to be bottom three. We can pick up points if we just play like ourselves and have a bit of drive, get at teams and just have a bit of belief. Let's get some sort of steady desire and drive."

Buckley's not getting carried away just yet, though.

"I enjoy any win. Some people say it's about performance but it's about winning. From our end I'm just delighted for everyone. They would have been firm favourites coming here, we just have to move on from it. It's a good result, we'll celebrate and then look at Waterford.

"If we're going to do anything this season, have a bit of fun with it, try and compete at the top end, we've only picked up a couple of results of late.

"Before that we were stuck at the bottom end. We're probably just a few points off fourth which is a spot in Europe, there's a few teams who will be thinking they can get there so we just need to keep our feet on the ground."

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