Mick Cooke Post Match Thoughts vs Sligo Rovers

November 7, 2018

Drogheda United boss Mick Cooke expressed his delight at his side’s 2-1 victory over Sligo Rovers, a result that guarantees qualification into next year’s Europa league.

“Obviously with the way results went last week with Shamrock Rovers losing to Derry, I think the lads just thought that they had to show up to defeat UCD. We did not perform to the standard we are accustomed to and left ourselves with a challenge tonight. With that being said to beat Sligo, the newly crowned champions, was the perfect way to bounce back. Neither side was at full strength but to inflict Sligo’s second league defeat of the season and to do it with ten men was superb.”

Drogheda set the early place and their dominance was rewarded after half an hour when Alan McNally headed in an Eric Foley corner.

“I felt we should have gone in three or four goals up at half-time with the chances we created. To be honest, it was probably the best half of football that we have produced all year. Unfortunately, forty-three seconds into the second-half the game swings in Sligo’s favour with an equaliser and a red card. You think to yourself, you’re playing the league champions and fear what might happen next but credit to the players. They weathered the storm as we did in Richmond Park back in July and for Brian Gannon to get a wonderful goal at the end caps off the season.”

A controversial equaliser from Liam Buchanan was compounded by the sending off of Declan O’Brien for protesting too vigorously with the assistant referee.

“These types of incidents are very annoying for a manager. As for the goal, I haven’t seen a replay so I can’t really comment on it. Fabio’s red card was both surprising and unfortunate. Words can be said in the heat of the moment when the pressure is on and I would have hoped for some discretion to be used in relation to the punishment. We have been training since last January with the goal of qualifying for Europe and just because one player exercises poor judgement in his choice of words doesn’t mean the game has to be turned on its head. ”

The 2013 season will begin in early February for the Drogs as they have to contend the Setanta cup and then the European campaign will commence in the Summer.

“Well the lads have proved to me that the squad does not need much strengthening. You have a squad of 22 players. Some will leave because they will want to play games every week; it is very hard to be a part of a successful team and to not play. Thankfully, I have a number already signed for next year and we are looking to build on that in the next couple of weeks.”

The United manager was quick to remind everyone that the season isn’t finished just yet with next week’s final league encounter away to Bohemians.

“Second place is now in our hands and to consolidate that is the motivation for the game in Dalymount and to give the fans a good send off to a magnificent year.”