Sligo Rovers boss Liam Buckley was full of praise for his side after they beat reigning champions Shamrock Rovers to replace them at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division but while he is refusing to get carried away, he is hopeful that they can continue to contend.
The 1-0 win in Tallaght meant the Bit o' Red claimed their first away victory over the Hoops since October 2013.
"It was important we did keep going until the end because Shamrock Rovers scored a late goal up in Sligo to draw with us," said Buckley.
"Rovers have had a history of winning games in the last five or 10 minutes. We put in a serious shift and I'm delighted for the group."
Sligo have enjoyed a dramatic turnaround in fortunes, having begun last season with four successive defeats.
Buckley isn't getting carried away but believes his side can compete with the division’s leading sides provided they stay injury free.
"It’s a really good feeling for the group," he said. "It’s been a while since we were top of the table. We’ve got to knuckle down, we’ve another tough game against Finn Harps at the weekend. There are no easy games in this league as you’ve seen this evening, there’s not a lot between Shamrock Rovers and ourselves.
"But it is exciting for the group. They’ve worked hard and it’s a testament to how well they’ve done this evening. Our fitness levels are good. If we can stay injury free, we can hopefully stay at the top end of the table."
Shamrock Rovers counterpart Stephen Bradley said his side are having a "rough time" with injuries as they fell to a second defeat in four days against Sligo.
Having seen their 33-game unbeaten streak come to an end against Dundalk, the Hoops then suffered their first home defeat since June 2019 as Bradley's side were leapfrogged at the summit.
With both teams cancelling each other out during a dire first half, the game opened up after the restart with Romeo Parkes’ confident finish proving the difference.
"We were okay, like they were," said Bradley. "Did we do enough to win the game? No. I didn’t think they did either. We gave them a really poor goal.
"We’re down bodies, that’s the case at the moment. But that’s how football goes. We’re having a rough time in terms of injuries at the moment but that’ll even itself out over the course of the season."
Shamrock Rovers were limited to long-range efforts on goal by a resolute Sligo defence, while Graham Burke went closest to scoring for the hosts when his second-half shot fizzed narrowly past the post.
"We had some half-chances, so had they," said Bradley. "There was nothing in the game in terms of chances.
"We felt we could hurt them in certain areas. We moved the ball a little too slow in the first half. Second half we were a little better but we didn’t do enough to win the game."
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