Limerick manager Tommy Barrett says his side's win at the Showgrounds on Saturday night proves the Shannonsiders' ability to compete in this year's Premier Division. The Blues are seen by many as potential relegation fodder, but got their seasonLimerick manager Tommy Barrett says his side's win at the Showgrounds on Saturday night proves the Shannonsiders' ability to compete in this year's Premier Division. The Blues are seen by many as potential relegation fodder, but got their season off to a flying start at the weekend under their new chief. Darren Dennehy's second half goal handing Limerick their second opening day victory over the Bit O'Red in as many seasons. Sligo shaded the opening half without finding the net before Dennehy’s headed goal just past the hour proved the match winner. Barrett shrugged off any notions that his team will struggle this season. He instead, praised Limerick's work rate on the night. "I pay no attention to that sort of talk whatsoever. I know we can beat anyone in this league on any day and we saw that tonight. You cannot write anyone off in this league. It's going to be competitive this year and we're a match for anyone. “It's a fantastic start. When you go away from home you have to work hard, put in a shift and hope you get a goal which we did. We could have got a couple more even when they pushed on. We probably should have taken those chances but we'll work on that.” The former Shamrock Rovers midfielder also acknowledged the input of his more experienced players in what is a Limerick squad peppered with youth. "All the older players we have are fantastic", he beamed. "The younger lads have some real professionals to look up to like Shane Tracy, Shane Duggan and the two Dennehys. They're very important and you saw that here tonight." Meanwhile, Sligo boss Ger Lyttle cut a frustrated figure after the game. The Rovers manager was keen to capitalise on home advantage in front of what was a bumper crowd. "We wanted to win this game badly, particularity given the support that turned up", he conceded. "We controlled the game up until they scored and when that happened it was like the boys went into their shell. But it's about learning. We've a lot of new players but maybe this is a wake-up call for us. Everyone's disappointed. We just have to move on and go again. An mid-week injury to left back Regan Donelon meant a total reshuffle of the Rovers back line, leaving the Bit O'Red imbalanced. This took a toll on an already small Sligo squad according to Lyttle. "Craig Roddan stepped in and did a job for and we've had to move Gary Boylan across which kills us in terms of how we wanted to set up. We prepared all pre-season with our full backs giving us real width and we couldn't do that tonight. It's not an excuse though." Sligo have the unique advantage of hosting their first three home games this year. Next up is Derry City on Friday before champions Cork City visit the north west next Monday. Lyttle is keen to kick start Rovers' campaign, starting this week. "We spoke before about having to make this place a fortress and that's the armour we need to add to our tank. We need to make the Showgrounds a really difficult place for teams to come and it's disappointing that we've let Limerick past us first time out. "But it's the first game. We can't moan about it or be downbeat. Now we've to leave it behind us and prepare for Derry on Friday."
League of Ireland