Hoops players take it on the chin as Finn calls for big response
Shamrock Rovers captain Ronan Finn says the club's players have to take the flak that's coming their way as the Hoops endure a rough time.
Three defeats in a row has added to the pressure at Rovers, to the extent that anything less than a win at home to troubled Limerick tonight will be a disaster and will add to the pressure on manager Stephen Bradley.
The club have not lost three in a row in the league since 2013 but Finn knows from his own long career in the league that an outfit like Rovers does not tolerate runs like that, though the skipper has defended his manager and says the players need to face up to the fact that recent performances have not been good enough.
"You're playing for the biggest club in Ireland and when you get a knock you have to take the bit of criticism, and rightly so," says Finn.
"We've had a bad period but as an experienced player, I've been in this situation before and you need to make sure you come out the other end of it.
"The Bohemians game, from a players' point of view, was well below par for the fans who come and watch us and pay good money to watch us perform in our biggest derby, we didn't perform for them and we rightly took stick for that.
"The Bray game, it was a mistake from my point of view. We could have still potentially got something from the game and we didn't and we've had a bad maybe four days, between the Bohs game and the Bray game, but we can't let that define our season and suddenly go under.
"And you've got to be stronger than that. You could say it's an experienced group, there are players here who have won leagues and we've got to make sure that we step up and we can't be left wanting here.
"Everything is done behind the scenes and the club is unbelievable, I've been at other clubs but the club is doing everything in the right way possible, it's so professional and on a Friday night we've got to make sure we do our job," added Finn.
Despite the record of six losses in 12 games, manager Bradley feels the side are not far away.
"I don't think there's much wrong, to be honest with you. We've had two bad results and I know they've been on top of each other but we just need to relax and focus and understand what we are and what we're good at. And go and win the game," he says.
"I fully understand that criticism comes with being the manager of this club; you get criticised when you lose. The players, like me, deal with it."