Stephen Bradley gave us this update in advance of Saturday’s home tie v Bohemian F.C.
Qst: You must have been happy to get through to the next round of the FAI Cup on Monday?
“We were delighted. It was a tough game on the back of Europe, we made some changes and I thought the players who came in did really well. So we’re delighted to be in the draw.”
Qst: What aspects of the performance pleased you in particular?
“There was a lot, I thought we controlled the game for the majority and created some chances. We scored two goals but I felt it was the attitude off the back of the European game that was really pleasing. We were really professional in how we approached it and managed the game really well.”
Qst: Did you feel that Cork have a good account of themselves as it was certainly a tighter game than the one in February?
“I said before the game that Cork were a good side, especially going forward as they had some dangerous players. We had to be ready for that and I think they showed that on the night. I expect Cork to pick up a lot of points between now and the end of the season.”
Qst: It was only Dean Williams’ second league start for the club, how do you think he did?
“I think he did really well. He’ll be a bit annoyed that he didn’t score that chance in the second half because that’s Dean’s game. Around the box he’s usually lethal from that sort of distance so he’s disappointed he didn’t score. Overall he did really well though.”
Qst: Both the Rovers goals came from an unusual source in our full-back, Danny Lafferty scoring his first goals for the club, and two nice finishes weren’t they?
“It was two good finishes and just before the second one he had a chance very similar to it as well that he nearly scored. So Danny gets into those positions. The first one he obviously follows up and the second one was a really good move and finish.”
Qst: You made a number of changes to your starting lineup but then to be able to bring on Ronan Finn, Aaron Greene and Aaron McEneff late on, they’re not bad subs to have?
“The squad is really strong and every player is pushing to play. The decision on who plays, who starts and who doesn’t, the margins are really small and that’s a good thing. It shows how competitive the squad is and that’s a real positive and important coming into the back end of the season.”
Qst: The quarter-finals won’t be played until after the end of the league season so we probably don’t need to worry about it for a while?
“That’s what we spoke about before the game. Make sure we’re into the next round and put it to bed until the league is over. Thankfully we’ve done that.”
Qst: Has there been a lot of excitement around the club since drawing AC Milan in Europe?
“There hasn’t been around the group to be honest, we haven’t gone into it or spoken about it as a group. Obviously everyone is well aware of it but we don’t talk about games too far down the line. We concentrate on the next game in front of us, that’s always our approach and this has been no different.”
Qst: That said is it exciting to see the club talked about so much in the media worldwide like this?
“That’s fantastic, the exposure for the club. That’s great for the club when you see all that and it’s brilliant. As a group we don’t talk about it until it comes around but the exposure and the interest it’s generating is fantastic.”
Qst: How big is this Bohs game now on Saturday?
“It’s a Dublin Derby, it’s a big game. It’s Bohs at home, first against second so it’s one we’re very much looking forward to. We’ve had a great start to the season and we’re looking to continue that.”
Qst: Given the form of both teams and their position in the table does that add yet another layer to it?
“First v second obviously adds a little bit more to the game but at the end of the day there is only the three points up for grabs that there is every week. We’ve got to make sure that we approach the game like we do all the time and impose ourselves on the game. We have to make sure that we do everything right and hopefully come out on top.”
Qst: Are these the sort of games our players relish playing in?
“I think you’ve seen over the past 14-16 months with these players that the bigger the game the better they are. The bigger the occasion the better they are and I don’t think tomorrow will be any different. I think that it’s a game that you really look forward to, big games are the ones you want to be part of. We’re at this club for big games.”
Qst: What do you think has made Bohs so consistent all season and that we might need to watch out for?
“They’re a good side with threats all over the pitch. They are where they are in the table on merit so it’s going to be a difficult game. We’ll give them that respect because they deserve it but we’ll go and impose ourselves on them like we do every week because we’re not a bad team either.”
Qst: Did any new injuries come out of Monday?
“There weren’t any knocks from Monday so everybody is OK.”
This week also marks the 500th goal at Tallaght Stadium by the Hoops. Danny Lafferty got number 500 last Monday in the Cup win against Cork City.