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First Team News

It’s Cup weekend and, for Rovers, it’s an away tie against Drogheda United on Friday 10th August in United Park, kick off 7.45pm.

Tickets are on sale at the ground and supporters are advised to avoid Drogheda town centre as Fleadh Cheoil Na hEireann commences in Drogheda from Friday and there will be numerous diversions and parking restrictions for the event on the outskirts and in the centre of the Town. The advice to Hoops fans travelling from the Dublin to United Park is to use the Motorway and exit for Drogheda North at Junction 10. Leaving the Motorway at Junctions 8 & 9 is not recommended .

Hoops’ head coach Stephen Bradley gave us his views in advance of the game:

“It was a good win [against Sligo]. I thought we played OK in the first half and used it a bit in the second. We deserved to win in the end so I was happy. Sligo are dangerous, I said it a few times that they have players that can hurt you. They created a really good chance and hit the crossbar. It was straight forward enough at half-time, we said we needed to be more aggressive in our play and the players knew that. In the second half they were very good.

It was great for Dylan Watts to get on the scoresheet. He had one or two really good strikes in the game and the keeper made good saves so it was good for him to get started and scoring for us. He obviously played well too but he’s a midfielder that will score goals. Gary Shaw’s goal in Waterford was a really good goal but this one was equally so because it’s a different type of goal. As a forward when you’re on your game, you’re alive, you’re ready and that’s what happened. The ball came back off the keeper and he was the first one to react, so it showed he was alert.

Sam Bone can play anywhere, he came on in Waterford at right-back as well and did well and created the goal for us. We knew that wouldn’t be an issue for Sam and Ally Gilchrist did well considering he hadn’t played in a long time. We felt it was important to bring Aaron Greene in, in terms of his minutes because he’d been injured. It was good that he was able to start the game and he did really well in both positions, on the wing and up front.

We just had to keep doing what we’d been doing, concentrating on what we can affect. Whatever happens outside our results
, it’ll happen but we just have to concentrate on what we do and see where it brings us. The way we were playing it would have been good to play the game against Dundalk but we’re probably fortunate that it was called off because we’ve quite a few knocks and we’d have struggled to field a team last week. Greg Bolger is suspended. Ethan Boyle is still out, so is Dave McAllister and Luke Byrne. Sean Kavanagh and Joey O’Brien are back training.

I’ve watched Drogheda quite a few times this year so we know how they’ll play.  It’ll be a difficult game but one that we’re looking forward to. There’s nothing we can do about those years [without winning the FAI Cup], all we can affect is tomorrow night. We can’t talk about winning any cups if we’re not ready. We’ll only be thinking about winning in Drogheda, that’s our only focus. 
If you start thinking about cup finals you very quickly find yourself out of the competition. We’ll go up there and do everything we can to win the game. After that, what will be, will be.”