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First Team News
Next up is Derry City at home (Friday 8pm) and we have the squad update from Stephen Bradley:

“It was a good win (in Limerick) in the end because we started really poorly. I thought the first half hour was probably the worst we’ve been in a long time. 

We were slow and sloppy. Gavin Bazunu kept us in the game. But we settled down then and came into it and I thought the second half was very good, we could have scored three or four. The scoreline could have been five or six but you take the win considering how we started the game. 

As a group we pinpointed the Bray and Limerick games as ones we needed to win because we felt that the teams around us would drop points when they played each other. We knew if we won the two games we’d move in the league and thankfully we managed to do that. 

Against Bray, Gavin had one or two long-range ones he had to catch but I thought against Limerick he was excellent. A save from a one-on-one in the first few minutes and then he came out and caught a corner and punched one under real pressure. He kept us in the game for the first 20-25 minutes. 

I think the players enjoyed the break. They had a few days off and it was well deserved. There’s been so many games in the league in the first half of the season so the break is essential. The players needed to switch off and get away from each other for a little while. 

It was good to see Joel Coustrain get a goal because his play has been good but he hasn’t been getting that final end product. I thought his and Graham Burke’s finish was good, and that’s the way Graham has been all year. 

We’ve obviously known that there was strong interest in Graham for a long time so we’ve been preparing and looking at the team without him. He was excellent for us, he scored goals but he’s gone now and we move on and go a different way.  We’re speaking to a few players so hopefully we get the right ones in. 

Greg Bolger and Ethan Boyle are suspended, which we could have done without because the two of them have been doing well. To be fair our disciplinary record has been really good this year in terms of missing people through yellow cards, this is the first time. Five over the course of a season isn’t bad. There’s no injuries apart from Trevor Clarke. 

Derry is a big game. I’m sure they’ll come and try to play and we’ve got to be ready for that. If we reach our levels like we did in the second half against Limerick the result will look after itself, but we’ll have to because they are a good side. 

We scored six at home against them but out there in Derry I actually thought we were better. We played really well and it could have been two or three that night. It just wouldn’t go in for us but we know those games have no bearing on tomorrow. 

It’s a tough draw in Europe. AIK are obviously a good side. But we played a few Swedish teams in pre-season so we have a gauge of where they’ll be in terms of their level and their standard. We know it’s a tough one we’re up against but we’ll go in and give it everything we have”.