Wednesday 17 January 2018

Dundalk keeper Gary Rogers: we won't drop our standards

Champions wary of losing to minnows

Richie Towell, left, and Chris Shields, Dundalk, celebrate after beating Cork City
Richie Towell, left, and Chris Shields, Dundalk, celebrate after beating Cork City

TOP dogs in the league by a five-point margin, Dundalk have insisted that they won't drop their standards in the coming weeks as the champions aim to move further ahead of their title rivals.

Stephen Kenny's side made a big statement about their ambitions for the season by winning 2-1 away to Cork City, in front of a crowd of 6,900. Of the teams immediately below them, leaders Dundalk have now beaten Cork, Bohemians and St Patrick's Athletic while also earning a point away to third-placed Shamrock Rovers. And Dundalk's next three games are all against sides in the bottom half, Bray next up.

But in England, reigning champions Manchester City's bid to retain their title suffered as points were dropped to bottom-half sides like Burnley, QPR and West Ham, and Dundalk keeper Gary Rogers is adamant that big wins against their title rivals must be followed up against the lesser sides.

"It's important to do well against your main rivals, but if we beat Bray in our next game we'll only get the same three points that we got for winning in Cork on Friday, and if we don't win at home to Bray next Monday we'll be very disappointed as we want to win every game we play," Rogers told The Herald.

"All the top teams seem to be doing well, I know Shamrock Rovers drew with Limerick on Saturday but we dropped points in Limerick as well.

"We can't go into the Bray game next week assuming we'll win, they have lost two in a row now but they were in a decent run before that and then can take points off teams.

"Winning in Cork gives us confidence, the fact that we can win in the toughest venue in the country is great for us. Equally we know that Cork are capable of coming to our place to win, so that makes the next few games - we have Bray, Longford and Derry next - even more important.

"It boils down to having the hunger and desire to go out and get those results and I know this squad is capable of that. Winning in Cork goes to show the character and belief that's in the squad," says Rogers.

"In Cork we got the win we deserved, the manager gave us the weekend off - but we're already looking to Bray next Monday."

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