Head Coach Stephen Bradley gives his thoughts on recent events and Friday’s game at home to St Patrick’s Athletic:
On the Cup Quarter Final win in Galway:
“There’s no better way to win it than in the last minute. We were obviously delighted because it meant we didn’t have a replay on Monday night.
If you look back at the game I thought we were excellent and fully deserved to go through. Overall the performance was really good.
Their goal was a long throw in. We knew that was their threat and when we went down there we saw that the pitch was made shorter on both sides we felt it was for that reason. They threw it into the box, it got a deflection and he taps it in. We were one down but we had been comfortable and playing well. At half-time we were nice and calm, we knew that we’d get a goal. We just needed to stick to the game plan.
We spoke before the game about moving it quickly and switching the play quickly. The players did that really well in the second half when Galway were defending so narrow and so deep. There was more tempo to our passing and we got opportunities from that.
I saw a picture of the Junior Hoops going down on the bus and it was brilliant to see. We knew we’d get a big crowd but it felt like a home game, even when we were a goal down the fans were unbelievable. You could hear them all throughout the night.”
On Friday’s game with St Patrick’s:
“I’m not sure what to expect from St Pat’s because they’ve changed the team quite a bit in the last three games, against Finn Harps, UCD and Cabinteely. We’ve just got to be ready for whatever Pat’s bring and make sure we’re at it. Stephen O’Donnell has come in and I’m sure it’s going to give their players a lift. It usually happens for a few weeks where they get a buzz. They’ll come to Tallaght looking for a win so we’ve got to implement our game plan and hit our levels.
Confidence is really high in the dressing room. The players have been excellent and the performance levels have been really high other than little patches here and there. Hopefully we can take that into tomorrow night.”
“We gave the players some down time during the week off because of the hectic schedule beforehand. There was Europe and a lot of travelling as well. It was important that they had some time to switch off. Obviously there was a time to work hard and we got the friendly in as well against the Defence Army, which is great and always a competitive game. That got minutes into certain players. So we’re refreshed and ready to go for tomorrow.
Neil Farrugia is flying. He’s back in with the team and he’s nearly there. I imagine he’ll be involved in the next week or two. It was a really bad injury and we just needed to be extra cautious about it. Joey O’Brien had been playing with the foot injury for a couple of months now. It’s been a bad one but he’s been playing through it. But he’s not too far away either, only 10 days to two weeks away. Everyone else is OK.”
On Jack Byrne’s Ireland debut:
“Jack was excellent. For us and I’m sure for all of our fans it comes as no surprise because they’ve seen it week in and week out. What he did against Bulgaria, we see it on a weekly basis.”