Gary Rogers has refused to throw in the towel on Dundalk retaining their title despite the champions taking just one point from a possible six since the restart of the league.
A 1-1 draw at home to St Patrick’s Athletic at the end of last month, coupled with Friday’s 2-1 loss away to Bohemians, means Vinny Perth’s side have dropped to third place in the table – eight points off early pacesetters Shamrock Rovers.
With just 11 games still to play that is quite the deficit to try to make up between now and the end of the season but Rogers doesn’t believe it’s impossible.
Asked did he believe Dundalk could still win the title this season, the veteran goalkeeper said: “Absolutely, there’s no doubt about that. There’s a long way to go.
“We certainly won’t be favourites but we have more than enough ability and belief in ourselves to go and close the gap. We’ll have a chance when Rovers come to down and we’ll have to capitalise on that.”
The 38-year-old admitted that his side were poor overall at Dalymount but said they would continue to work hard to rectify the problems ahead of a double header this week against Waterford FC in the FAI Cup on Tuesday and the league on Friday.
“It’s obviously disappointing,” he said of Friday’s defeat.
“We don’t enjoy losing games. We just got off to a bad start. We came back into it late in the first half and got a goal which would have reignited us again but all in all tonight is a poor result.
“Mickey (Duffy) gave us a lifeline with that goal before half time and we came out in the second half and started really well. We hit the crossbar and Stephen McGuinness made a good save from John Mountney on the follow up. That would have really changed the game for us.
“At 2-2 with 40 minutes to go would have been a great start to the second half for us but it wasn’t to be. We still knocked on the door and created chances but we were vulnerable as well to counter attacks and they had some opportunities as well so I think for the neutral looking in it was probably a great game to look at in terms of the number of chances but we’d be obviously disappointed with the result.
“We probably coughed up a few more chances than we normally would and that’s disappointing and something that we’ll have to work on and get right and we’ll have to get it right in a hurry but that’s what we’ll do.
“We’ll go back to the training ground and try to rectify the problems that we’ve had.
“It’s not easy when you suffer a defeat and we had a poor draw last week as well. We know what’s needed and that’s not good enough so we’ll have to improve and get better and that goes for everyone, myself included.”
Rogers re-iterated, however, that Dundalk had the capability of putting a run of form together once they got up and running.
“It’s seven games into a season really. It has been a different season than normal and we all know the reasons for that. It is early but there’s not a lot of time on our side in terms of what’s left in the remaining of the season.
“We are capable of putting a good run together but we’ve got to kickstart that on Tuesday and get back to winning ways by trying to get into the next round of the Cup,” he said.