Tuesday 12 December 2017

'Sloppy' goals could cost Rovers title, warns Finn

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

RONAN FINN has admitted that Shamrock Rovers could regret throwing away winning positions -- like they did against St Patrick's Athletic last Sunday -- come season's end.

The champions lost yet another lead late on as their title rivals earned a point with Pat Flynn's injury-time strike. It was the fourth time the Hoops had let a commanding position slip at home this season and heaped yet more pressure on manager Stephen Kenny.

Late goals conceded against Cork City, Derry City, UCD and now the Saints have cost Rovers the eight points they trail leaders Sligo Rovers by. Midfielder Finn has been one of the better Rovers players in a disappointing campaign and brushed aside questions over the manager's future, preferring to call on his colleagues to up their game.

"It is happening too much," Finn said. "It's just another sloppy goal from our point of view. We defended well throughout the whole game but just concentration in the last minute cost us again. It felt like a defeat.

"I can't get my head around it. You work so hard to get a goal up and I think we should, at the level that we're at, see these games out.

"We're not a young side, we're an experienced team and it's happening again and again. We're shooting ourselves in the foot.

"We know there's a long way to go in the season but it's happening too often. We could be looking back at these games at the end of the season."

Next up for the Hoops is a trip to crisis-ridden Oriel Park where they will face a Dundalk side fighting for survival.

Although their away form has been poor, Kenny's charges will be looking to kick-start their campaign ahead of the Champions League qualifiers against Ekranas next week. And Finn reckons that the three-in-a-row bid is still a realistic aim.

"Everyone is pulling in the same direction, everyone is together. In the title, we're all confident, there is a long way to go," he said.

"It's something that we have to rectify but there is a long way to go. This time last year, we went on a run, that's what we're looking at this year as well.

"It's just too many mistakes that are costing us this year. You work and get yourself in a game.

"We're just giving teams presents where last year we weren't and teams don't seem to be giving us presents.

"It's just sloppy from us. We're an experienced team, it shouldn't be the case.

"Ninety per cent of the players have won a league, we've been here before. For me, it's not good enough."

Irish Independent

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