By Ed Leahy
Shamrock Rovers manager Trevor Croly was delighted with the character shown by his side as the Hoops landed the EA SPORTS Cup, beating Drogheda United 2-0.
But the Rovers boss, who has secured two cup titles in his first year in charge of the Dublin club, would not be drawn into talk of a cup treble as he focuses on the next league game, which is away to Limerick on Tuesday night.
Rovers played out the final 25 minutes of Saturday’s cup final at Tallaght Stadium with ten men following the sending off of centre-half Ken Oman.
But the Hoops two-goal advantage was maintained thanks to some superb defending and a string of fine saves by Rovers keeper Barry Murphy as Croly’s side secured the League Cup for the first time since 1977.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport after the game, Croly said: “The team showed great character tonight because Drogheda got at us at the end, they were throwing balls into the box and we were getting bodies across it so great credit to the guys and the group.
“Did we play as well as we would have like to? At times no. Not to the levels that we have probably been at for the last three or four weeks. You don’t hit 100 per cent everyday but they’ve shown great character.
"You don’t hit 100 per cent everyday but they’ve shown great character." - Croly
“Dave (Elebert) came on and made a great clearance with his head, Barry is making clearances on the line. They fought for their clean sheet and we got it, so we’re delighted.
“It’s not easy to win anything. We haven’t won that trophy in a while so it is good for the club to win it.”
Croly’s side remain in fifth place in the league and, while the rookie manager might be forgiven for turning all his attentions to the upcoming FAI Ford Cup semi-final in two weeks’ time, the Rovers boss is sticking to his mantra of one game at a time.
Croly added: “I’m not being funny; we play Tuesday. We have got to try to recover because Limerick have an advantage because of the number of days preparation and they will be fresh. It’s vital because we need to climb up the league.
“We want to keep winning. We want to try and win on Tuesday and then we will look to the next game. It’s vital that we do that and vital that we win the next game.”
The only negative that Shamrock Rovers will take out of the cup final victory will be Oman’s red card, as the Hoops poor disciplinary record this season continued.
Oman was adamant that he did not make contact with Drogheda striker Declan O’Brien for his second yellow card of the night and his manager appeared to agree that the decision by referee Padraig Sutton was a poor one.
“I was a bit away but it looked like the guy dived. But I was a long way away so maybe I’m wrong.”