Lee Lynch has called on his Sligo Rovers team mates to forget about Monday’s EA Sports Cup semi-final defeat to Derry City, as the focus now turns to this weekend’s FAI Cup tie with Longford Town.
Rovers fell behind to a stunning first half strike from Rory Hale and although they created plenty of chances in the second period, were foiled again and again by Candystripes goalkeeper Ger Doherty.
Lynch, who played in Bit O’Red’s league win over Derry at the Brandywell just three nights previous, gave credit to the in-form City skipper. But the Limerick native also lamented Sligo’s inability to take those opportunities.
He said: “We knew they’d come back out at us after Friday’s game. I think we did a job on them that night and it didn’t go down too well up there.
“But we pinpointed two wins. We knew on Friday that after losing in Tallaght we had to put on a big performance and we did.
“We started very well on Monday and we were on top for ten or fifteen minutes and they had a spell after that. It’s a great strike and it’s put us on the back foot.
“But we managed to get ourselves back into the game. We had a right go at half-time between ourselves and knew we had to come out in the second half which we did.
“We had them pinned in all second half. They tried to hit us on the counter but we managed that well and had a number of chances.
“Ger is a great ‘keeper and a great servant to this league but we have to take those chances because there were so many.
“I think we’ve maybe beaten ourselves. If we were beaten by the better team we’d put our hands up and say ‘fair enough’, but I don’t think that was the case.”
A Rovers win on Monday would have seen them progress to a first league cup decider since they last won it in 2010. A fact that means it’s all that bit harder for the Sligo dressing room to take.
“We have the players to do it but it just didn’t fall for us. It’s a big, big disappointment because it would have been amazing to have a cup final against Cobh to look forward to. We were hurt afterwards.”
Lynch, who won an FAI Cup with Rovers in 2013, believes this Saturday’s encounter with Longford is the perfect opportunity to make up for the previous weekend’s disappointment.
“The FAI Cup is one of the biggest trophies you can win and Rovers have a great history in it”, he points out.
“We’re a massive club who needs to be challenging for titles every year. We shouldn’t be where we are in the league, we know that.
“We now need to leave the Derry result behind and go and beat Longford. I think Monday showed the fans that we are playing well now but we need to progress in the cup now.
“What we learned from Derry is that we can create chances. But if you don’t take them, you give the opposition a chance and we cannot do that on Saturday.”