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'I’ve one now and the other lads don’t so it’s a bit of banter between us'

Sean Hoare suggests the Shamrock Rovers defenders have ‘a few quid’ on who can score the most goals this season.

Sean Hoare celebrates (file pic).
Sean Hoare celebrates (file pic).
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Updated Apr 22nd 2022, 8:34 AM

SEAN HOARE says there is a sense of competition among the Shamrock Rovers defenders as to who can score the most goals this season.

A three-man backline comprising of Hoare, Roberto Lopes and Lee Grace looked solid as they earned a 1-0 victory over Dundalk on Monday.

It was their sixth clean sheet from 11 games, and the Hoops have the best defensive record in the Premier Division as it stands, with just seven goals conceded overall.

Hoare went close to netting down the other end on Monday, with his header forcing a save from Dundalk goalkeeper Nathan Shepperd.

“Yeah, we just want clean sheets I suppose, but at the other end, the three of us are big and we can header balls,” he said afterwards. “We have a little thing between us. I’ve one [goal] now and the other lads don’t so it’s a bit of banter between us. We just want to beat each other.

“Do we have a few quid on it? I think we might. Pico [Lopes] can tell you that. The three of us just want to outscore the other one I suppose.

“The number of corners we get and the deliveries we have are unbelievable. I suppose other teams know that threat and get on to it. So hopefully we can contribute as well.”

The Hoops had a couple of setbacks earlier in the season, with two draws and two losses from their opening 11 games.

However, the reigning champions’ recent form appears ominous for their rivals, as they have won four on the bounce going into tonight’s clash with Bohemians at Dalymount Park.

“I think this round of games especially, we’ve upped the gears and controlled games more. We played well in the last round of games I suppose, but we weren’t really taking chances or anything like that.”

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Derry City look like Rovers’ most obvious title rivals as it stands, although the Candystripes have wobbled of late, with a six-point lead at the top being reduced to just one as a result of the two teams’ contrasting fortunes of late. So does Hoare see them as their main challenges? 

“It’s hard to say. Looking back on this time last year it was so different — Sligo were up there. A lot can change in two or three rounds so if they’re still up there at the end, they’ve obviously done something right. We’re just trying to beat everyone as they come.

“You kind of can’t think: ‘Oh, we won it by I think it was 16 points [last year].’ It doesn’t feel like that, because if you think you’re going to win it by that much, you won’t at all. You’ll trip up.”

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Paul Fennessy

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