Stephen Bradley’s pre match thoughts in advance of the fi9nal home game of the season tonight at 8pm v’s Waterford:
St Pat’s (1 nil win Fri 12th Oct):
It’s great to win any game like that but a Dublin derby feels that little bit extra special. I thought we deserved it, we created a lot of chances and could have won by more but it was great to get the last minute winner.
It was really well worked. It started with Roberto to Sam, and Dylan with a one-two and it opens up really well. Brandon makes a great decision to make the pass he plays and obviously Dan finishes it well.
Dan has scored some good goals and some big goals for us. He has ten now, he should have near twenty, he’s had really good opportunities to add to that. For Dan next year that’s what he needs to try and improve on, he’s played well but I believe the type of player he is and the positions he takes up, he could aim for that.
Dan was excellent on the wing and I thought Gary did really well too, we didn’t want to take him off because of his performance, he was getting tired and we needed to look after him.
We were a bit nervous about the [Latvian] referee because we didn’t know how they were going to interpret our game and our tackles. But I thought he was really good and let the game flow for both teams. He let tackles go which is good to see. He managed the game really well and helped get a bit of a tempo to it and add a bit of spice to it.
We knew that if we moved the ball for the first half and keep probing, in or around that 60 minutes they’d get tired. We’ve watched them and we knew they’d tire out. It was up to us to get them to that point by keep playing even though we didn’t create a lot in the first half. We moved them about and then eventually overpowered them.
It was big for us because we want third place. We felt that Dundalk would go to Waterford and win and we needed to look after our stuff in Richmond. It hasn’t been a place where we’ve gotten results for a number of years but I felt going into it that this team was ready to go there and win it. We were playing well and were confident, and that’s what we spoke about.
Last year we looked at how we can improve as a team and a squad and the first thing that jumped out at me was we conceded far too many goals last year. If you don’t concede you always have a chance of winning games so we needed to stop conceding the amount of goals we did. This year we’ve obviously improved on that massively. The challenge is to match that and do better next year again.
We knew it’d take time, if you look at the amount of change we’ve had, the turnover of players, it was always going to take time to get what we felt was right to keep those clean sheets. I think we’re getting there and the stats say that. And it feels like that, we feel more secure. We need to continue that tomorrow night and into next season.
We go to win the game, it doesn’t change for us. We know Waterford are dangerous, they’re physical and they have some really good attacking players. They’ll enjoy coming to Tallaght, the pitch will suit them. I feel that if we can play to our levels we can take three points. We’re on a really good run of form, we’re scoring goals and we’re not conceding. We’re playing some really good football so we’ll look to bring that again tomorrow night and go and attack Waterford from the off.
When we were so many points behind Waterford mid season, third was always our aim then. Nothing has changed and I think you saw that on Friday night, how hard the players worked until the final minute and how much it meant to them after the game. And that’s the same tomorrow night, we want to go and seal third place and we have a chance to do that at home.
Hopefully we get a good crowd. It should be a decent game between two good teams and the Player of the Year awards are afterwards. Hopefully it’s a good night all round. The fans have been excellent, the support in Richmond the other night was unbelievable. We went through a ten minute spell in the second half where we struggled and the fans got us going again. They’ve been like that all year.
We’ve a couple of knocks, there’s one or two that we might have to wait until tomorrow to assess them, one being Aaron Greene. He’s struggling since last week when he got a knock in training and he hasn’t recovered from it. Ethan Boyle is suspended.