Why the Mickey Adams approach is working for Sligo Rovers
Only a few weeks ago, it seemed as if the only place where Sligo Rovers were headed was the dreaded First Division.
But an unlikely venture into Europe could now be on the cards for the men from the west, as new boss Micky Adams has turned things around to the extent where a run to the FAI Cup final - and on into the Europa League - as well as league survival are in their reach.
What had promised to be a great season for the Bit O’Red was a bit of a nightmare, as one measly win from the first 18 league games saw them tumble down the table.
A heavy league defeat to Shamrock Rovers in June cost Owen Heary his job but even under caretaker management over the next seven games there was no relief, to the extent where relegation was a real fear.
But under ex-Leicester City boss Adams, Rovers are unbeaten in four in the league and they know that, should they be able to get past Dundalk in the FAI Cup tonight, that cup competition is more than winnable, all those points combining to send Sligo off to Dundalk with confidence.
“On our day we can match anyone, we have shown that in the last two games so we feel we can get something against Dundalk,” says Corcoran ahead of tonight’s Cup quarter-final tie away to Dundalk.
“To get to the final would be some achievement and the Cup is wide open this year, if you get into the last four you’ve a great chance. Pats and Rovers are aleady gone, by tonight either Cork or Derry are gone, so we could be two wins away from Europe.
“It’s looking a lot better than it did a short while ago, our performances at the start of the season were just not up to par, we looked like we just couldn’t get a win no matter what. I think we had the players here, we just weren’t able to perform but we look like a different team now.”
Sligo assembled a tasty-looking squad in pre-season but things never took off. “Confidence was an issue, after a few bad results the heads went down and morale wasn’t great. But since Micky came in he has changed a lot of things around and we have a feel-good factor in the dressing room,” I think that has shown in our performances,” Corcoran says.
Dubliner Corcoran, 26, has memories of his current boss from Adams’ spell as a Premier League manager. “It’s a bit different from what he’s used to, going into Alex Ferguson’s office for a glass of wine after a game,” says Corcoran. “And he likes to drop names every now and again, like the time he scored against Schmeichel. But he loves it here and I think he’s surprised at how good the standard is here.”