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First Team News

Stephen Bradley gives his thoughts on the recent away win and the final league game at home to Cork City on Friday, note kick off 7.45pm

On the 3-0 win at UCD last week:

“We were very good in patches in the game and obviously happy with the three goals and clean sheet. So it was a comfortable win in the end.

We had chances from Brandon’s free kick and then Graham hit the crossbar before Joey’s goal came. It was a good goal, Lee headed it back into Joey and he was there to put it in. I’m delighted for Joey because he’s been unlucky this year going up for set pieces.

I thought Neil Farrugia was brilliant. It was only his second game so he was always going to get tired after the big high from last week coming back. I thought he showed glimpses of real quality and what he can do. For Graham’s goal he beats two or three of them on the left and then it’s an inch perfect cross.

Brandon Kavanagh was never going to kick that one anywhere other than the goal. To be fair to Brandon and the players, UCD had two chances to put the ball out (when goalkeeper Conor Kearns was injured) and they never took it. Brandon’s instinct is to put the ball in the net and he’s not going to stop. He was really good on the night as well.

Our away form is something we looked at. When we came in it was really poor and it was something we needed to improve. If you want to be up at the top end of the table you have to win games home and away and we’ve definitely turned it around. The players are really confident whether we play home or away and I think that’s really important. They’ve been excellent away from home in big games and got results. The challenge next year is can we beat that again (11 away wins, a club record).

We’ve spoken about this for some time that we want to be up there and beat records. Tomorrow night gives us a chance to do that (23 total wins in 2011). The points tally is one of the highest we’ve ever had and the clean sheets is up there too so everything has gone in the right direction. It would be nice to go and equal that win record that’s been held for a number of years.”

Tomorrow’s game at home to Cork:

“They’ll obviously be on a high from winning last week. They’ll come and play with a freedom in the last game of the season so we’ve got to be ready for that. But we’ve got our own targets and our own reasons for wanting to go and win this game so we’ll be fully focused on that.

It’s our last home game and the fans have been unbelievable all year. They’ve travelled all around Europe. They deserve a performance and for us to go and put on a show tomorrow night and win the game. Hopefully that’s what we’ll do.”

Squad update:

“Dylan Watts will be OK for next week but he’s out for tomorrow as a precaution. Neil Farrugia is fine, he could have played on at UCD but with the injury he had there was no point in taking a risk. The game was over and we played the last 15 or 20 minutes with 10 men. Sean Callan is still out.”

FAI Cup Final:

“The high level of ticket sales doesn’t surprise me. I played in the last one when we got there the last time. The crowd we brought to the Aviva was unbelievable. I remember driving to the game through Ringsend and the crowd on each side of the road was frightening. It really got you going and made you think. It’s great for the players because a lot of them haven’t seen it before but it doesn’t surprise me because I’m sure we’ll have unbelievable support on the day.”