Furious Sligo Rovers manager Ian Baraclough tore into his side following their FAI Cup exit at the hands of Dundalk on Friday night.
The Bit O’Red’s FAI Cup defence was ended in emphatic fashion by the Lilywhites who marched into the last 16 with a 3-0 win. And speaking afterwards, Baraclough hinted that the result could spark a clear out at The Showgrounds.
“This is hurting, it really is. For me, it is the worst it has been since I have arrived at Sligo Rovers and I have got to work hard, which I will, to make it right and address the slump and get that confidence back. It wasn’t long ago we were lifting the FAI Cup in the Aviva.
“I won’t just let a result like that wash over. We have been used to winning things but you’ve got to show a hunger and desire to keep on winning because that’s what it is all about.
“People who settle for mediocrity fall by the wayside in this sport and football has a habit of filtering out the weak and the strong will rise to the top.
“People have to realise that they are playing for their futures. You are only on short-term contracts as a player here and they have to realise that they can be moved on at the end of the season, if not before and the quicker that penny drops, the better it would be. The stark reality is that the weak can be filtered out.”
With Alan Keane, Jeff Henderson and Seamus Conneely all failing late fitness tests, Baraclough was forced to play Joseph Ndo as a makeshift right-back. However he refused to use the injury situation as an excuse for their performance.
“I accept we have come here with players playing out of position but we have players who have won trophies and are used to winning things.
“When the chips are down, do you curl up in a ball or do you fight? I was just hoping we would have a little bit more fight than that.
“That’s what is disappointing. People pay their money from Sligo, get off work early maybe and lose an hour or two’s pay to come and support the team. People spend every spare hour for Sligo Rovers and that has to mean something to the players here.”
Barcalough also dismissed any notions that his side may have lost a bit of hunger after winning the Setanta Cup just four weeks earlier and three FAI Cups and a league title in the past four seasons.
“I do not accept that. Why should you lose hunger or desire? It is the greatest feeling in the world winning things and we should want more of it. “