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First Team News

Stephen Bradley gave an update on the squad in advance of Sunday’s game with Dundalk in Oriel Park.

“I thought we started poorly (in Boleslav). They started really well and obviously punished us when they scored the early goal. In terms of winning the tie the game was over but I thought second half the way we responded and played was really pleasing. I thought we were much better.
We spoke about it, that they’d come out and try and get at us early and that’s exactly what they did. It was disappointing to concede, I know it took a slight deflection and went under Ronan’s foot. On another day you deal with it comfortably enough, we didn’t and they scored within ten minutes and obviously it killed off the tie. We still had chances. I know the scoreline was 2-0 but we hit the post twice and had a goal disallowed and one cleared off the line. So we had a lot of chances, second half especially, the performance was really good so we were disappointed not to score.
The European campaign was definitely a massive positive for us as a group going forward. It’s our first time together in Europe, we won the two games in the first round and lost the two games in the second and both will stand to them massively for the rest of the season and for next year as well. That experience is invaluable, you can’t buy that.
It was a tough game in terms of the players put a lot of energy into it but Dundalk would have done similar in their game, so there’ll be no problem, they’ll be ready to go today. In training on Saturday we made sure everyone was right and recovered properly. Other than Paul Corry and Danny Devine, who’ll be out with his ankle injury for a couple of weeks, everyone else is fine. Ronan Finn (suspended) is obviously a big player for us and we’ll miss him but I feel we’re at a level now where when the players come in they do really well, so hopefully whoever takes his place will be fine in terms of the performance.

We know it’s going to be a tough game, Dundalk are a top side so we expect nothing less but I believe we’re a very good side as well, so it’s up to us to go up and play with our energy and believe in the way we play. If we do that I believe we can cause them trouble.
We set ourselves targets every round of games and after the game tomorrow we’ll sit down and have a look and go through them again. You try and improve every aspect you can, home form or away form. In Derry we were hard done by. Sligo on another night you’d win the game 2 or 3 nil with the chances we had. I think it’s very easy to get wrapped up in saying our away form should be better but I think we’ve been good away from home, we just need to turn our performances into results.”