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First Team News

Rovers are on the road on Monday to take on Cork City.

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

Turner’s Cross

Monday March 12th 2018. Kick off 7.45pm

Speaking ahead of Monday’s game, Hoops Head Coach Stephen Bradley said:

“I don’t think anyone goes into any game and expects to score six goals. You go and try to win the game. The six goals were surprising obviously but I think we have the attacking ability to score goals against any team. When we’re at it and play at that tempo going forward we create a lot of chances. That was shown on Friday night.

I said last year when we played Derry that we didn’t play too badly against them but we were on the wrong end of results. It was about being ruthless at both ends of the pitch. It was nice to get the win considering they beat us three times last year.

To be fair to Derry I thought they started really well. In the first 15-20 minutes they had a few corners that we had to defend really well and we did that. We knew they would try and play and would have some of the ball and it was up to us to counter that. But after we settled down I thought we were very good especially in the second half, how we used the pitch and moved the ball at speed. We ran forward with energy and tempo. We made some clever runs, Brandon Miele got in during the first half.

When we play to our levels all over the pitch, defensively and attacking we’re a match for anyone, like we have been for the last two weeks, in terms of being ruthless in and around the box and being calm. You saw for some of the goals, for Ronan’s pass to Graham Burke, he could have shot. There were good decisions made and we took our time around the box and finished them off. So that was pleasing to see.

It’s a great achievement for Graham personally [to score four goals] and I’m delighted for him. I’ve seen him play better all round games to be honest. Last year he’d come off the pitch having done everything but score and this year he’s adding goals to his personal game which is a big positive for us.

Cork have some good players, they’re a good side but we’ll go there full of confidence and ready to go and try and win the game. We’ve got to go and play the way we play. We know they’re the champions and they did the double last year, it’ll be a big crowd and a tough game but we believe that we can go anywhere and cause problems and create chances. Tomorrow night will be no different.

Last year at Turner’s Cross we could have gone 2-0 up but we get a man sent off and concede within 5 minutes. So the scoreline suggested it was an easy night’s work for them but when you actually look at the game we did well for large parts of it until the sending off. We’re going to need to be disciplined again tomorrow like we have been this year and keep eleven players on the pitch. It’s about us sticking to our game plan.

I think last year down there was a turning point for us to see the crowd, first of all the turnout and second of all the crowd were brilliant afterwards with that [4-1] scoreline. When the players went out to warm down they saw it, they felt it and they spoke about it after the game on the way home. It was great for the players to see that.

We’ll have to have a look at Ethan Boyle, he got a bad knock on his ankle on Friday. We need to assess Greg Bolger as well. He’s getting there, he’s getting back.

I think Sam Bone has been excellent since he’s come in. It’s not easy to just slot in especially when you’re replacing someone like Greg and to make it look like Greg hasn’t been away. That’s what you want [a selection headache], you want competition all over the pitch. It’s up to him now to keep the spot and make it hard for Greg to get back in the team. To push on and keep playing at the level he’s playing at. We always believed he had the ability but having the ability and producing it is another thing.”