Pat Fenlon has said Shamrock Rovers are running out of time if they are continue their push for European qualification via the SSE Airtricity League.
Speaking after Rovers scored late to secure a 1-1 draw in their derby against Bohemians, Fenlon said his side had looked lethargic, and that a draw was not enough at this point in the season.
“We didn't play that well tonight, to be honest,” Fenlon told RTÉ Sport.
“We looked a little bit leggy and lethargic.
“In fairness to them, I thought they got about us at the start of the game really well.”
He suggested the game had been scrappy without too many chances for either side and said Rovers needed to win games if they were to challenge for European qualification.
The Hoops are now seven points behind third-placed St Patrick’s Athletic, whom they meet at Richmond Park on Friday, though with a game in hand.
“A point is not really good any good for us to be honest, at this stage in the season,” he said. “We need to be picking up three.”
“Sometimes they go against you, and sometimes they go for you. We’ll take the one that’s gone for us” - Pat Fenlon
Fenlon admitted he had been concerned that Rovers’ chance was gone when Bohs went ahead, but said his team had kept going and been rewarded with a fortunate penalty.
“You always think, one-nil down, that they were going to hang on, slowing the play down at that stage and killing it, which we would have done as well,” he said.
“But the one plus is we kept going. We got a penalty – whether it was one or not, I’m not sure – but we got one.”
Fenlon agreed the penalty had been a little soft, but felt his side missed out on another that should have been given afterwards.
“We’ll take it,” he said. “Sometimes they go against you, and sometimes they go for you. We’ll take the one that’s gone for us.”
With important games coming up against St Pat’s on Friday then UCD next Tuesday, Fenlon was pleased to have almost a full squad from which to pick, but was wary of the possibility of losing players to injury or suspensions as Rovers continued on two front their quest for European football next season.
“We’re trying to rotate as much as we can,” he said. “We don’t have loads of players in every position. We’ve got one or two getting close to suspension, so we just have to be careful.
“We’ve probably got two chances of getting to Europe. We can beat Derry in the [FAI Cup] semi-final, get to the final with Pat’s [should they beat Finn Harps], obviously and [if we win] that’ll guarantee us.
"But we want to keep going [in the league] as much as we can, try and catch them as well.”
Fenlon is happy to be at home in the semi-final, but feels neither side should have home advantage at the semi-final stage.
“A neutral game for both games, I think, would have been agreeable for everyone,” he said.