Stephen Bradley gave us his thoughts in the build up to Monday’s home league game against Waterford. Kick off is at 7pm and the game is free to view on www.watchloi.ie
Qst: The word ‘proud’ has been used a lot around the club with the Milan performance, was that your main feeling afterwards?
“I think so, when you put it all into context the players were excellent. They showed that they can perform on a really big stage against a team that are obviously full of world class players and when you put everything into context, the players deserve tremendous credit for being so brave and playing the way we played.”
Qst: The fans feel we gave a great account of ourselves against a top team, what sort of reaction have you received from other people?
“Similar, a lot of people within the game have rang or text me and had similar views. I felt it was important that we stuck to our principals and played our game. You obviously need to be careful doing that against a top team like Milan but I felt the players did it really well and on another night maybe could have scored one or two. That was really pleasing that we created some really good chances off the back of playing the way we play.”
Qst: The chances you mentioned, Aaron Greene forced two good saves from the goalkeeper and Ronan Finn came close with a header, were we unlucky not to find the net?
“We were, if you’d said before the game that you’d have maybe three or four really good chances against Milan you would have taken that. I said before the game I felt we had enough in the group to create chances”.
Qst: We had the likes of Pico putting his body on the line and Jack showing his passing ability in midfield, what pleased you the most about our players’ defending and attacking play on the night?
“Everything, because against a team like that, tactically you have to make sure you’re right and I thought the players were. They were disciplined and stayed together. When we had the ball we were brave enough to play our way which is really important in a game like that. We were disappointed with the [Ibrahimovic] goal, we think we could have been better defensively with that but it’s a split second decision against a top team and you get punished. Overall there were so many aspects of the game that were really good.”
Qst: Will the experience will stand to us, testing ourselves against such a high quality of opposition?
“Of course it will, we’ll take the positives from it and we’ll learn from the negatives and bring it on and make us a better team. Hopefully on Monday against Waterford and going forward in Europe next year.”
Qst: What happened to Daniel Lafferty prior to the Milan game, how is he looking and is everyone else OK?
“Dan picked up a knock the day before, he won’t be involved tomorrow but hopefully he’ll be back for the following week. There’s no new injuries from the other night, everyone came through it OK.”
Qst: How great was it to get Sean Kavanagh out on the pitch for the first time this season?
“It was great for Sean because it’s been 10 months and he’s been close to coming back a few times and had setbacks and not quite been right. We’ve been very cautious about him but it’s great to get him back out on the pitch as a reward for all his hard work. I’m delighted for him because when you’re injured like that for a long period of time it can be lonely on your own doing your work but he’s kept his head down and kept focused.”
Qst: After all the extra attention focused on the club in the past week is it back to business now with Waterford in the league?
“It’s back to what will be a tough game for us, Waterford have been in good form and like you say it’s back to business. We have to make sure we’re focused and ready to for a tough game. I think we are ready, it’s another game for us to get points on the board.”
Qst: Waterford had been doing well under John Sheridan, what do you think of them as a team?
“They’ve been doing well, they have some good players and they’ve been scoring goals. They have some good attacking threats so it’s going to be a good game on Monday.”