DFC | Rogers at a loss to explain Dundalk FC’s poor run of form

Lilywhites have lost five of their opening 12 games

Gary Rogers applauds the visiting fans prior to Friday night’s game in Tallaght. PICTURE: CIARAN CULLIGAN

Speaking after the 2–1 defeat to Shamrock Rovers on Friday night, Dundalk FC goalkeeper Gary Rogers was at a loss trying to explain his side’s poor start to their title defence.

The Lilywhites have already been beaten five times in their opening 12 games — one less than they suffered across 33 league games last year — and Rogers said it was hard to explain the downturn in fortunes.

“It’s hard to come out of the dressing room and say what it is (that’s going wrong) but it’s clear to see that things aren’t as plain sailing as they were last year.

“This is a difficult time and it’s a massive challenge but it’s a challenge that this group is up to. We have to go out and perform better, improve our performance and start picking up points.

Injuries to key personnel haven’t helped. Sean Gannon and Robbie Benson have missed the last five weeks while Brian Gartland will miss Friday’s game with Sligo Rovers due to a back injury.

Winger Steven Kinsella is suffering from a hamstring injury while Stephen O’Donnell is also a doubt. The Dundalk FC captain went off in the 33rd minute in Tallaght and was treated in hospital for a suspected concussion.

“We’ve been unfortunate for lots of different things but we can’t make excuses,” said Rogers.

“The squad is full of very good players and we just have to improve our performances, starting with the next game against Sligo Rovers. We can’t look any further ahead than that.

“We’ve had some many good nights in Tallaght and to be turned over here is disappointing,” he added.

“We didn’t perform as well as we could. We found ourselves two down early in the game and it was an uphill battle from there.

“In the second half we were better but we couldn’t get the early goal we needed. We stuck at it and got the consolation but it’s a pity we didn’t score earlier in the half. We really could have pushed on to try and get something then.”

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