Thursday 22 February 2018

Rovers’ title dream still alive – O’Neill

Neil Ahern

SHAMROCK ROVERS may have capitulated and let slip an eight-point lead at the top of the Airtricity Premier League, but Michael O’Neillhas insisted that it is not over yet for his troops as they trail Bohemians by a single point with two games to go.

Four defeats in five games have turned the Hoops’ title charge on its head as, for the second successive season, a fall from grace late in the campaign has seen them relinquish a lead at the top of the table.

O’Neill’s side now face the relatively easy prospects of Drogheda United and Bray Wanderers, but Bohs face a Galway United side they have failed to beat this season as well as a potential banana skin at home to Dundalk.

“You could put all sorts of spins and permutations on (the league run-in) but our only focus is the game on Sunday,” O’Neill insisted ahead of this weekend’s FAI Ford Cup semi-final clash with St Patrick’s Athletic.

“We'll address the league when it comes around. Everyone is saying about the league but the league is played over 36 games, not 34 games. We'll look at the league after 36 games.”

There has been speculation over O’Neill’s future since he was installed as one of the early favourites to take over the vacant post at Hibernian, but he waved away any suggestions of contact with the SPL outfit and said he would like to stay at Rovers beyond his current contract.

“I came here on a three year contract and I envisage I'll be here for the three years and beyond,” he said.

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