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First Team News

Stephen Bradley gave his views on Monday’s EA SPORTS Cup win and Fridays Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup game v Glenville.

On the 1-0 win over Cork City:
“I would like to have won it earlier for my heart but there’s probably no better feeling than to win a big game in the last minute. I was thinking of penalties when there was five minutes left of extra time, I picked the penalty takers already because the way it was going we weren’t going to score. They were defending the 18 yard box and any chances we had seemed to hit the keeper or the post or go wide. It looked like it was going to be one of those nights but thankfully James Doona with a bit of skill and a great finish at the end won it for us.
You see that every day with James in training. He can check left and check right. When he hit it and scored it wasn’t really a surprise to us because we see it all the time. He’s very good with both feet. He’s had to be patient. He hasn’t started a lot of games but when he has come on he’s done the right things. When he’s been on the pitch he’s made an impact, which as a manager that’s all you want from your players and it puts it in your head for the next game.
I’m really looking forward to the final. Dundalk are a top team but we’ve shown this year that we can beat them home and away. Obviously home advantage for us is great but the venue didn’t bother me, I would have played them at Jobstown Park. It’s two teams, 11 v 11. Their pitch is not a big impact anymore because it’s a top class astro. 
One of the things I looked at at the start of the year was that the club wasn’t beating top teams and that’s something you’ve to change if you want to win things. In cup competitions and in the league you’re going to have to beat them somewhere along the line. We had to change that mentality and I think we’ve shown this year we’ve broken down that barrier. There’s still a long way to go, we need to be more consistent to go and challenge like Dundalk and Cork.
I watched the game (and red card incident) back. It’s absolutely scandalous how John Caulfield can say our player should apologise to Alan Bennett. It’s clear as anything that Alan pushes him onto the ground first of all and then goes and stamps on his chest. Dave Webster has three stud marks to show it as well. For John to suggest that he was lying and wants our player to apologise is unbelievable. The stamp is so obvious it’s frightening.”
“It’s a stat (not winning the FAI Cup in 30 years) I know well having played in the last final in the Aviva. It’s only early but tomorrow is a game for us to go and win. Play the way we have been playing and then look forward and see where it takes us. It’s only a few games and you’re in a final. We’ve prepared like we do for every game and concentrated on ourselves. We’ll obviously look at Glenville and respect them. We think we know what way they’re going to play and how they’ll set up and their danger players. It’s a great day for them coming to Tallaght Stadium, but we’ve got to make sure that’s where it ends and make sure we win the game. There won’t be many changes.

Luke Byrne won’t play on Friday, he’s struggling with a nick on his hamstring. Maybe ten days. You don’t want him getting injured but it’s maybe not a bad thing, he’s played a lot of games since he’s come back from his long lay off and we were looking for the right time to try and take him out the team and give him a break. He needed one.  Pico Lopes trained on Thursday for the first time and Sam Bone trained as well. Both we’re hoping to have back for during the week or next week definitely. It’s great that they’re both back involved and they’re nearly there.”