Shamrock Rovers midfielder Dylan Watts says the manner of Friday’s hard-fought win over Derry City explains why the Hoops have won back-to-back titles.
The champions struggled for much of the opening hour and still managed to claim victory at Tallaght, with sub Danny Mandroiu claiming a winner.
Watts, who also came off the bench to make a big impact, respects Derry’s skills and believes they have the ability to make it a “long season” for the Hoops but says it was an underperformance should not detract from the qualities that his team has shown.
“We managed to dig deep at times when it mattered,” says Watts. “If we have a bad first half, we know we have the players in the second half to produce big moments.
“Danny came on and scored the winner, that just shows the importance of the bench.
“They build really good teams like this to be able to do this. Nobody likes to be on the bench, but when you’re on the bench you have to make a difference.”
Derry manager Ruaidhrí Higgins expressed optimism about his side’s development after the game and reiterated his belief they are on the way to becoming a “outstanding” team. Watts was asked head on if the Candystripes were the toughest challenger they’d faced since rising to the top of the stack.
“Yeah, I think so and you guys (media) want to see that. I won’t say they are better or worse than other teams. All I can say is that after seeing them on Friday and playing at The Brandywell they never get beat.
“They’re a top team, there’s no doubt about that and it’s going to be a long season.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/league-of-ireland/hoops-win-shows-importance-of-bench-dylan-watts-41652518.html Hoops win shows the importance of the bench – Dylan Watts