Saturday 24 March 2018

Sives seeking big Rovers response

Neil Ahern

AFTER their horror show at Dundalk on Monday night, Shamrock Rovers defender Craig Sives now believes tonight's FAI Ford Cup quarter-final against Galway is a "must win" if they are to get their fans back onside for the remainder of the league title run-in.

The Scotsman admitted he had watched footage of the 5-1 defeat to Dundalk and couldn't hide the dismay at the performance the league champions-elect produced at Oriel Park.

While the travelling fans did clap their side off the field at the Louth venue, the defeat has raised fresh questions over Michael O'Neill's side's ability to hold out and claim a first league trophy since 1994.

And, consequently, Sives is under no illusions as to how big a home Cup game is to the fans in the wake of that shock defeat.

"It's a must-win game, there's no doubt about it, we've got to win the game and hopefully put in a decent performance as well but if we don't play well, we just need to win," he said.

"The fans are brilliant, you see them travel in hundreds and sometimes thousands if you're looking at last Friday night (St Pat's).

"We let them down on Monday night big time so it's up to us now, the only way to repay them is to kick on now and hopefully win the league and hopefully win a cup."

The 24-year-old, who began his career at Hearts, was at pains to explain how things went so horribly wrong at Oriel Park, where they ended an unbeaten league run of 17 games.

"It was mad, they just seemed to want it more than us. Nothing went right for us, we didn't turn up to Dundalk thinking it was going to be easy. We were all pretty sickened after the game, we all know we can do a lot better than that."

But focus now turns to the Cup and a banana-skin tie against Galway United and now more than ever, Sives knows not to take Sean Connor's relegation-battlers lightly.

"That was one of the attractions to come over here, to try and win cups and play European football and, obviously, I'd love to win a league and a cup but you've got to earn the right to that. Teams are out there to try and stop us and it's going to be tough."

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport