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Monday 10 December 2018

On-song Rovers side are keen to make up to fans for slip-ups

Shamrock Rovers’ Aaron Greene wants a top three Premier Division finish for the Hoops
Shamrock Rovers’ Aaron Greene wants a top three Premier Division finish for the Hoops

Aaron Greene says the Shamrock Rovers squad are desperate to gift a top-three finish to their supporters after letting then down with some flat displays in recent weeks.

On paper, Rovers are one of the form sides of the league, with seven wins from the last nine league games.

In that time they have won away to the league leaders (Dundalk), drawn away to the current champions (Cork City) and kept clean sheets seven times in nine outings.

But included in that run was a loss at home to rivals Bohemians and also an FAI Cup exit at the hands of lower-league opposition (Drogheda United).

The Hoops, in action at home to Limerick tonight, have moved into the top three and are well-placed to secure Europa League football for 2019, Greene eager to make amends for those losses.

"I think we let people down," says Greene, who rejoined Rovers for a second spell with a mid-season move from Bray Wanderers.

"The league was never going to happen, we were too many points behind.

"When you're going to Drogheda in the FAI Cup, you need to win and, as a group of players, we let ourselves down. We let everyone down.

"So you're looking forward, against Bohs - and there is no bigger game when you're at this club - to bounce back, but again we just couldn't get going.

"That was a hard two weeks on the trot, it wasn't a nice place the following week. You need them kick up the backsides to get going again, and I think we've shown that," added Greene, aware that Rovers have the advantage over Waterford in the race for third place but still have work to do.

"We have it in our hands rather than being on their coat tails, they are on our coat tails and that's an incentive to keep them behind us. I know they still have to come to Tallaght but there is still a lot to play for," he said.

Meanwhile, Rovers boss Stephen Bradley says he will delay Trevor Clarke's return from injury until next season to make sure the U21 cap is fully recovered from his knee injury.

Clarke has been out since he suffered an injury in training in March and he had intended to get back into the side before the end of the 2018 campaign, but Bradley is unwilling to risk his long-term fitness by doing so. "We could play him before the end of the season. But I don't think there is a point, to be honest," says Bradley.

"Research has shown that the longer you leave them after the six month period, every month decreases the chances of it happening again. So I think we'll put Trevor away until next year."

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