COBH RAMBLERS will play their final home game of the season when Longford Town visit St Colman’s Park tonight (7.45pm).
In their last outing Cobh could have few complaints, as a strong Waterford side deservedly won the Munster derby at the RSC.
Although Shane Keegan only took over the manager’s role at the end of June, he will know that just three wins from a possible 30 league games has been a disappointing return.
This is something which will need to improve significantly next year if Cobh have any hopes of challenging for the play-offs, with Keegan looking to produce a greater level of consistency with their performances.
Keegan also will be looking for Cobh to produce better home performances and results next term, which will be crucial if they are to have any chance of improving on their current league position.
Thirty points behind fifth-placed Treaty United highlights the massive levels of improvement Ramblers will need next season.
So, has the rebuilding job required been tougher than expected for Shane Keegan as Ramblers manager?
“No, I don’t think it has to be honest. I kind of knew what exactly the lie of the land was coming down.
“If anything, to be honest, certainly after the first three games I would have maybe questioned in my own head was there enough quality in the dressing room or would it need a complete overhaul for the new season.
“But what I have found out is there is a hell of a lot of quality in the dressing room. Sometimes we perform and don’t get results. Sometimes we don’t perform and don’t deserve any results.
“Most importantly, there are a lot of really good people in that dressing room that would make you think it doesn’t need a complete overhaul really. Even though our league position is what it is, I don’t think it needs a complete overhaul.
“They were absolutely bang up at it and it was really good. So, it is just identifying what are we missing, going out and trying to recruit people who might give us those attributes in the off-season.”
More immediately, In the more immediate term, Ramblers will hope for to find a positive result against Longford to
Gary Cronin’s side make the trip to Cobh getting ready for the promotion playoffs in the coming weeks.
They come into this clash on the back of a 2-2 draw in the Midlands derby with Athlone Town, the Longford goals coming from Jordan Adeyemo and Aaron Robinson.
In their three previous meetings, Longford have won all three. The first of those wins was a 2-0 win in April, with Darren Craven and Eric Molloy scoring.
In the most recent meeting between the two at St Colman’s Park Longford won 4-2 courtesy of goals from Dylan Barnett, Cristian Magerusan, Aaron Robinson, and Shane Elworthy, with Pierce Phillips and Jake Hegarty scoring for Ramblers.
Their most recent meeting was on August 6 when Longford won 2-0 at home with Adeyemo and Mark Hanratty finding the back of the net for the Midlands-based side.
“Gary (Cronin) has them playing some fantastic football. I think they will stand every chance in the play-offs,” Keegan said.
“I would be appealing to our players to give the Cobh supporters a high to finish on.”
Ramblers will be hoping that they can finally pick up some points, in particular against a team that will be featuring in the promotion play-offs.
In front of the Cobh support, Ramblers will be looking to produce one final strong showing and give their supporters reasons to hope for a much better campaign next year.