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Friday 15 December 2017

Murray: buck stops with us

SHAMROCK Rovers captain Dan Murray says that the Hoops players need to hold up their hands and admit that they haven't been good enough this season.

Rovers, league runners-up last season, are in the bottom three of the table this term with just one point from three games, following successive home defeats to leaders St Pats and the season's surprise packets Dundalk.

Rovers boss Michael O'Neill had his players back to work on the training ground yesterday following Sunday's poor display at home to Dundalk but skipper Murray says there is no time for the Rovers squad to feel sorry for themselves as they try to kick start their season away to Galway United on Friday.

"Sunday was a disappointing result and we have to turn it around quickly, we have to make ourselves hard to beat and hard to score against and we have to do that right away," said Murray, who joined Rovers from Cork City at the start of the season.

"We need to improve our individual performances, get back to what we do best, do some hard work on the training ground this week and get things right for Galway on Friday.

"Every day in training this week we have to put in 100 percent and see if that's enough. What we have done so far on the field this season is not good enough and is not expected from a club like Shamrock Rovers.

"In the last two games at home we haven't put in the level of performances that we'd want and we are looking to change that immediately.

"We wouldn't have imagined at the start of the season that Rovers v Galway would be a battle at the bottom of the table and that we would be so far behind the likes of Bohs, St Pats and Dundalk, but we can't worry about Bohs or anyone else for now. We have to concentrate on ourselves and get ourselves right," added Murray.

"We need to put in some displays that our manager can be proud of, it's up to the players to stand up and be counted now, we can't blame the manager.

"We have to take responsibility as a team because we play as a team but as individuals we need to step up and do better, we know we can do better. We are not doing our jobs right at the moment but we have to get the team ethic going, play as a team and get the season going."

Meanwhile Rovers hope to solve their striker crisis in time for Friday's game away to Galway by signing former Derry City man Thomas Stewart. He caught the eye by scoring six goals for Derry last season and has been training with Rovers with a view to a move, but the deal was delayed due to red tape.

"I hope it will be completed this week. There was one little situation that had to be resolved from the USA when he went out there to have a look at a club. But we had been in contact and he should be signing and available for Galway away on Friday," said O'Neill.

Meanwhile former Ireland B cap Neale Fenn has been on the receiving end of some banter from his team-mates about his strike rate, but the centre-forward doesn't care as long as the goals keep coming for Dundalk.

Fenn (33) has become an instant hit in a Dundalk side which is in third place in the league after a superb start to the season, Fenn scoring two goals in the last two games for Ian Foster's side.

Manager Foster and Dundalk captain Liam Burns both had a joke at Fenn's expense after he scored in Sunday's 2-0 win over Shamrock Rovers because of his track record in front of goal: he scored just one goal in all of last season and scored just five league goals in three seasons with Bohemians.

"It was said to me when I came to the club that I needed to score more goals so I am happy to see a couple go in," said Fenn.

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