Perthshire Advertiser

Swifts are on the road to Hampden

Rooney eyes regular first-team spot

- MATTHEW GALLAGHER

Rooney

Shaun

Danny McNamara’s impending departure back to parent club Millwall offers an opportunit­y for someone else.

And Shaun Rooney is determined to be the man to nail down a regular starting place in Perth.

The defender, signed from Inverness, has been in and out of the team this season but his recent performanc­es have earned praise.

McNamara is set to return to London after the Ross County game on January 2.

“I’ve got to come in and do well,” Rooney said. “Wee Danny has done well and Jason Kerr is the captain. I need to impress.

“I just need to keep going and can’t let my head drop.

“All the boys will tell you that Danny has done well. He’s a good guy in about the changing room.

“I will always try and get myself into the team, it

Jeanfield Swifts are dreaming of a Scottish Cup shock at New Central Park on Boxing Day.

The Perth club will make their debut in the first round of the competitio­n when they line up against Kelty Hearts.

Swifts midfielder Chris Dodd said:“All of our boys are from the area. If you can’t get yourself up for this game, there is a problem.”

See all the build-up inside. doesn’t matter where it is. I want to play games.

“Hopefully I can get my chance. I’ll play wherever I’m put. Football is a short career and I want to play as many games as I can.

“I don’t want to dwell on being at a club and not playing.

“I’m not a guy who will sit back and quit. If I do well, I’ll try to keep my spot.”

Rooney was one of the better performers as Saints went down 3-0 against Rangers on Wednesday evening.

First-half goals from Kemar Roofe and Glen Kamara put a big dent in Perth hopes before Ianis Hagi added a third after the break.

“We were in the game and had a couple of chances,” Rooney said.

“When that first goal goes in it’s about regrouping and keeping the head up. The second was a killer blow. We’ve got to try and work harder.

“At half-time we were just looking to keep ourselves in the game. If we got one back, they might crumble a little.

“But it was always going to be hard to come back from three. We’ve got to mark our runners.

“Every single time they had the ball in the midfield they went forward. We maybe looked to go back the way and not gamble.

“It’s tough but it’s our job at the end of the day to track runners and defend for 90 minutes. Everybody has got to keep concentrat­ed.”

Saints, who sit 10th in the table, are licking their wounds after three straight league defeats but the games are coming thick and fast.

Next up is a trip to play Aberdeen on Boxing Day before Hamilton visit on Wednesday to see out the year.

Rooney highlighte­d the importance of the Pittodrie encounter and realises Saints need the positive momentum to return.

“It’s a must win,” Rooney said. “We need to go up there thinking we can win it.

“We take it one game at a time and I feel we have the depth in the squad.”

 ??  ?? Ambition
Ambition
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK