Big weekend for Rovers
Shamrock Rovers captain Ronan Finn has said his side need to be ready for a physical battle when arch rivals Bohemians visit the Tallaght Stadium for a mouthwatering SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash tomorrow night (kick-off 8pm).
Following a disappointing 1-0 defeat to St Patrick’s Athletic last Friday, the defending champions will be hoping for better fortunes in their second consecutive Dublin derby. There is also the small matter of a visit to his former club Dundalk on Monday, but for now Finn is focused on overcoming the Gypsies in Tallaght.
“It’s always a big one, a tough game for us. A big weekend in terms of Bohemians and then a short turnaround to get ready for Dundalk. A big one for the fans and a big one for us as players and management because we need to go and get a result. Especially on the back of last Friday,” Finn explained.
“They’ve a strong team. Even though I think they’ve lost a few players from last year, they have recruited and they’ll be coming to Tallaght and looking to get points off us. We’ve got to be ready for that, it’s never an easy game.
“We’ve got to make sure that we match the fight and the type of game that it can sometimes develop into. We’ve got to match that with our quality and our technique on the ball. It’s two fold. We need to make sure we’re on both sides of the game on Friday.”
One of the players to depart Bohs during the off-season was Andy Lyons, who made the switch across the city to join forces with Stephen Bradley’s three in-a-row chasing Hoops. He is one of five ex-Gypsies currently under contract at Rovers – Roberto Lopes, Dylan Watts, Danny Mandroiu and Aaron Greene being the others.
It will be a massive fixture for Lyons – should he be selected – but one that Finn believes he will ultimately relish.
“Andy has settled in really well. It’ll be a big game, it will be in Tallaght and he’ll be buoyed by our own support. I’m sure our fans will be looking forward to it. It’s a sell-out or it’s very close to being a sell-out.
“Just for us as players and for Andy, these are the games you want to play in. A big Dublin derby. It’s a good atmosphere and we have to go, and try and win the game.”
Having already suffered losses to Derry City and St Pat’s in their opening four games, Rovers will be eager to avoid another early slip-up in their latest quest for a Premier Division crown. Yet despite coming off on the wrong side of the result last Friday, Finn felt they did an awful right against the Saints in Inchicore.
“It wasn’t a particularly bad performance by ourselves. I thought we controlled the game for large parts, but we were undone on a set-piece. You hate saying it on the back of a defeat, but there were positives from the game. We just need to tidy up in certain areas and then obviously when you get your chances, you put them anyway,” Finn added.