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First Team News

Next up is Bray Wanderers at home (Sat 7pm) and we have the squad update from Stephen Bradley:

“I thought the first half [against Dundalk] was probably up there with the best we’ve played this season, we were excellent. We’re playing against a top team with some top players and I haven’t seen many teams that can do that to them like we did.

The changes in the game really hurt us considering what we were missing already so that was unfortunate. It was there for all to see the impact that [Dan Carr and Ronan Finn’s] injuries had on the performance. We were the ones in control of the game and both changes knocked us.

And we gave away some soft goals to a really good team. It’s fine margins in those games. We could have been two up but we don’t and they go up and score. We had one that looked over the line and wasn’t given, and the [Aaron Bolger] penalty as well. If you go 2-0 up I think you win the game comfortably but we don’t and they punish us at the other end. I think the result says one story but the performance says a different story.

Some of the decisions given on the night were horrendous but they’re going to give those free kicks and we have to defend them properly and we didn’t. Our defending against a team that we knew were dangerous at set pieces wasn’t good enough. Some of the goals that we gave away were really poor from our point of view and that’s the bit that we’re disappointed with.

Brandon Kavanagh is a very good player. Him coming on [for his home league debut] was never going to be an issue because we’ve seen him up close and know what he can do. There’s a lot more to come from him, he just needs to keep his head down and keep working hard and we’ll have a really good player on our hands.

We need to go and win against Bray and Limerick, if you do that you go into the break not far off the team in third place. All those teams play each other in the next two weeks. We need to look after our own business and win those games.

We beat Bray well in Tallaght but out there the conditions were a real leveller that night and there was nothing in the game. It wasn’t a great game and we gave away a poor goal from a back pass which is unlike us. They’ll be coming full of confidence after beating Pat’s last week so we’ve got to make sure that we’re ready to go.

Graham Burke has just been his usual self, doing what got him into the Ireland squad in the first place. He’s come back, he’s a really good professional, he trains properly and looks after himself. That’s no different. It’s great to have him back in and he obviously makes us a better team.

Ronan Finn took a bad knock to the head against Dundalk. He cleared a great header and collided with one of their players. He was dizzy coming off the pitch and obviously couldn’t continue. Dan Carr felt his hamstring and had to come off so we’ll have to assess both of them tomorrow and see how they are.

Brandon Miele is still a couple of weeks away, we maybe could push him for next week but more than likely it won’t be until after the break. We’ve had to work with Aaron Bolger and Dean Dillon in terms of their exams that are starting but Aaron will be available. Kevin Horgan is back.”

Listen to Stephen and also the pre match thoughts of Joey O’Brien on Soundcloud here.