After a disappointing result against League leaders Cork on Friday evening, Limerick FC manager Martin Russell believes his squad can learn from the experience and push on, as the Super Blues adjust to life back in the Premier Division.
“We’re obviously disappointed with the result”, Russell said, speaking to LFC TV. “We did start off well, and as you’ve pointed out we’ve probably gifted them the first goal. That has been the case with individual mistakes, players probably not showing the consistency at this end of things that you need, but we keep working hard because it is the level that the club wants to be at. I think by players only continually experiencing the higher level of the game, they can adapt and move forward.”
While the opposition has indeed capitalised upon individual mistakes, there is also a case for perhaps a bit more ruthlessness going forward. After a free scoring return to the top flight against Sligo Rovers, a return of two goals from the subsequent five fixtures has slowed the early momentum. However the manager has full confidence that this is a squad with goals in them, and that consistency in this regard can also be achieved.
“The league is a really competitive league and you do get punished at your end, and likewise you’ve really got to take your chances at the other end, because you don’t get as many as you would do say in the First Division. It’s a case of being more clinical and adding that consistency into our game, which I think we can do as we move through the campaign.”
Looking at the table, it’s a defeat that feels worse than it probably is. With the club sitting in eighth position but just three points behind fifth place Bohemians (and with a game in hand), three points for any team can move you a few places up in what is a highly competitive league. The positive noise emanating from an ambitious Limerick side has not gone away, as Russell believes this is a side still capable of delivering on their early promise.
“Three points brings you up a number of places. We’ve been looking like we’re capable of getting wins. Having said that all the teams are competitive, we’ve just got to try and keep putting the best foot forward. I’m confident in the group that we can get plenty of wins and have a good season still.
“The only pressure that we put on the lads is always just to play to their best abilities, whether it’s in the Markets Field, Tallaght Stadium, or Richmond as it’s going to be this week. It’s just adapting and keeping your standard of play at a high level that helps you progress and get rewards.
“St. Patrick’s Athletic are coming into a bit of form and they have got a lot of good players. I’m not surprised that they’ve won recent games and they’ll continue to win games. Hopefully we can go there this week and play in a similar fashion that we have been playing, that we’re going to be competitive, and come away with some valuable points. We’re looking forward to that.”