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First Team News

Stephen Bradley gave us his thoughts on recent results and the big game on Thursday v’s Apollon Limassol:

On last Sunday’s 7-0 win over UCD:

“It was a very different game to Brann but I thought we approached it well. We started the game really well and obviously got the early goal which helped win the game. You’re always worried what Thursday will take out of you but as a group I felt that on Saturday they were very focused and ready to win the game and I think we showed that on Sunday by how we started.

We played well and the early goal settled us. We played some good football and we were ruthless in the final third so all round it was a good day. It was great for Graham Cummins to score. He’s had some half chances since he’s come in. His movement has been good and he’s still getting used to how we play but I was delighted to see him get on the scoresheet.

Dan Carr was excellent again. He came on against Brann and changed the game for us and on Sunday, playing in a different position, he got two. His all round game was really good. It was a great finish from Jack Byrne for his goal. There was some good play leading up to it. He dribbles into the box, shifts and hits it. The pleasing thing for us is that he’s playing with a real confidence and working really hard for the team.

It was great to get 90 minutes into Gary O’Neill against UCD because he’s been excellent since he came in and he’s had to be patient. He came on against Brann and got the winner but he hadn’t played 90 minutes in two months I’d say. It was good to get Eric Abulu onto the pitch as well [for his league debut]. Aaron Greene’s attitude is first class. He’s a top professional, he works really hard in training every day and you know he’s going to be ready to go whether it’s from the first minute or the 80th minute. When he came on he showed that, he took his goals really well and possibly could have had another one. He was excellent.

Against Sligo a few weeks ago it should have been over at half time but we didn’t take one of the many chances we had. On Sunday it seemed like every chance we had went in. Sometimes it falls like that but you can’t fault the performance levels either way. We spoke about it before the game that if we had a chance to go and be ruthless and narrow the goal difference that we need to go and do it and the team did.”

On Thursday’s game with Apollon Limassol:

“They’re a top team. They made the group stages last year and they’ve made it a number of times in the last few years. We know it’s going to be a difficult tie but it’s one that we’re looking forward to and one we believe we can win. It’s definitely a step up. Limassol are a better side than Brann. They’re a very good side and their pedigree shows that. We need to concentrate for 90 minutes. They have threats from all over the pitch so we need to really focus for the whole game because they’re very dangerous. It’s over two legs so we need to make sure that when we go over to Cyprus we’re still there and can still win the tie. 

The crowd against Brann was brilliant especially when we went a goal down. They got the players going again and hopefully they come out again in their numbers tomorrow night because we’re going to need them. We need the crowd with us for the 90 minutes. European nights in Tallaght are special and I’m sure tomorrow night will be no different. There’s top class opposition coming and hopefully we’ve a big support to help us go and get a result.”

On Injuries:

“Neil Farrugia is the only one. He’s probably looking at Cork on Sunday to be back for.”

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