Derailed

Game 19

Shamrock Rovers 3-1 Dundalk

Well, last week was a positive and this week isn’t just as positive. It’s been a while since we could say that we took some positives from a defeat though isn’t it?

I wasn’t wild about the set up of the team before the game started but there was evidence that the set up was working. Going ahead early, Mannus making a great save to keep it at one and then the most egregious refereeing decision I’ve seen in a very long time.

I hate to complain about referees and refereeing decisions but sometimes you just can’t help it. There is no way on earth that a free out was the correct decision. Just no way on earth. A no call would have made more sense.

Who knows what would have happened if we had gotten the penalty. Hoban might have missed it anyway. But the chance to go 2-0 up away to Rovers was denied and then Sloggett’s injury derailed the momentum that had been built up in the opening of the match.

Sloggett is a curious one for me. There are times when I’m not sure what his best position in the team is and there are times when they instantly improve when he’s on the pitch. Friday was one of the night’s where it felt like when he was gone, the shape and energy of the midfield was lost.

I have been critical of him in the past and I’ve been corrected by many. I think he needs to settle into playing every week and then we’ll see the best of him.

Friday’s match did derail the progress that has been made over the last few weeks but it did feel more positive than it ought to have.

Europe is still in play in the league and with another burst of good results we might rescue this season and turn it from a travesty into an acceptably mediocre finish.

I’m a little distracted this week because we’re playing in the Europa Conference tomorrow and I’m going to be going to Oriel for the first time in a very, very long time.

I can’t wait.

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