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First Team News

Team news in advance of Friday’s game v Dundalk 8pm kick off at Tallaght Stadium.

Stephen Bradley said:

“We were disappointed obviously [against Bohemians]. We scored a good goal and looked comfortable so we were really disappointed to concede a goal like that, especially so late on. We’ve been really strong from set pieces in general this year. There’s a lot we could have done better, it’s a free header six yards from your goal. It’s frustrating because I thought we deserved the three points.

It was a poor game. I’ve been over at Dalymount and watched a few games and a lot of them have been like that, I don’t know if it’s the pitch but even though it was a poor game we felt comfortable and in control throughout. We got a good goal and maybe could have had another one in the first half with a penalty and Graham Burke’s chance. It was a great finish by Ronan Finn. It was a good run, he had a lot of time to think about so it was a hard finish but he took it really well. He was supposed to come off the pitch just before he scored. I think the three games [in six days] caught up with us. You could see that physically it took its toll on us and maybe that had a part to play in the quality of the game itself.
There hasn’t been much difference in the performances between home and away so we’re disappointed that we haven’t taken more points on the road. It’s something we want to improve in the second half of the season and we know we can improve because our performances have been good.

Dundalk are doing really well so I imagine it’ll be a good game. They’re a top team, it’s going to be a really difficult challenge for us but it’s a game that we’re really looking forward to. Our two games this season were close games, I think there hasn’t been much in it either way and both of us had chances to win them. I expect tomorrow night to be no different. The crowds in Tallaght have been good and it’s another big game for us. If we just keep producing the levels that we have been the last few weeks in most of our games I think we’ll be fine.

It’s an unbelievable achievement for Graham to be capped by Ireland. If you think back to when we signed him, he’d lost his way a bit in terms of football and he got disillusioned with everything. He’s come in, worked really hard on and off the field to improve every part of his game and he’s got the rewards. It’s a fantastic achievement for him and it’s great for the club and the league that you have a player that comes on in the Stade de France on Monday and is an Ireland international. The higher the level Graham plays at the better he’ll be because of the type of player he is. He has the ability to play at the highest level and I think he showed that this week that he didn’t look out of place. He has the ability to look really comfortable in and out of possession in those scenarios.

It does mean he’ll miss our game on Friday. You’re obviously gutted to be missing him for a big game for us but he’s worked so hard. He’s produced for us and now he’s getting his just rewards for playing for Ireland. He’s playing for his country so it’s something that we fully support and would never try and change it. Brandon Miele is still out. We’ll have to assess Sam Bone today and tomorrow. He’s been better this week in terms of his injury, he got a knock on the bottom of his calf and it’s been at him. With the game we thought it was going to be in Dalymount, we knew what Dave McAllister would bring to us. He’s kept himself right and he did well on FridaySean Boyd is back in training and I’d say Kevin Horgan is another week away.”