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Liam Burt ‘surprised’ by minnows tag put on Sligo by Scottish media

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Bohemians player Liam Burt. Credit: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

Bohemians player Liam Burt. Credit: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

Bohemians player Liam Burt. Credit: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

Bohemians midfielder Liam Burt has revealed he was surprised by the attitude of the Scottish media towards Sligo Rovers, as they dumped Motherwell out of the Europa Conference League last week.

The Bit O’Red defeated the Scottish outfit 1-0 on their home patch, before last week’s 2-0 win at the Showgrounds saw them progress to the third-round, a result that also saw Motherwell manager Graham Alexander lose his job.

The Scottish media labelled Sligo as “minnows” after the first leg, and Burt admitted he was taken aback by the attitude of his native country.

“I was surprised with a few things that were said,” Burt said, speaking at the launch of Budweiser as the official beer partner of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic.

“I’ve been in this league for a year and a half now and it’s really competitive. Motherwell might think differently now to what they thought a couple of weeks ago after going out. That’s what their media were thinking this league was about, by putting things out like that.

“It was great to see Sligo go through, Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic too. It’s very good for the League of Ireland, we want to show how good it is. You have a lot of players moving to England, like Promise (Omochere) and Dawson (Devoy) too. There’s a lot of young talent in the league, and the only way to show how good it is, is to challenge at the best level. By progressing through rounds in Europe, they can show that.”

While Irish clubs want to see each other do well in Europe, Bohemians will be hoping they can take advantage of Sligo’s fixture congestion, as their league clash on Sunday comes in between Sligo’s two ties against Norway’s Viking. 

“It’s a huge three points,” said Burt, as Sligo were defeated by UCD and Wexford after returning from Europe. “They’re obviously confident by putting Motherwell out and are in a good place, but we’re not really thinking about what they’re doing. We’re focusing on ourselves and how we can win the game on Sunday.

“We’re in a good place right now with the momentum we’re on. There’s a few more gears we can go through to improve as a team. We’ve had a full week now to concentrate on the Sligo game. There’s a lot to look forward to in the last months of the season.” After losing Omochere and Devoy to League One clubs, Keith Long has bolstered his squad with eight new arrivals, including three Scots, Josh Ker, Declan McDaid and Jon McCracken. Burt is impressed with the impact his compatriots have made so far.

“It wasn’t the start to the season we hoped for, but now we’re picking it up,” said the 23-year-old. They’ve gelled in quite well, helped the group and staked their claim. Since some of the lads have come in, we’ve won three on the bounce, so it’s looking very positive. The experience of playing abroad, that’s our focus this year, to get a European spot for the club.”

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