Stephen Bradley gave this update to shamrockrovers.ie in advance of Sunday’s game against Dundalk at Oriel Park:
Qst: Was that a very high quality performance against Waterford on Monday?
“I think parts of it was really high. To be fair to the players they’ve been playing at that high level for quite some time.”
Qst: Was it important that there was no sign of a “European hangover” coming off the Milan game?
“It was, after the hype of the Milan game but again I think the players deserve credit for their attitude and application to the game and then their play followed. But there was no doubt that they were in the right frame of mind and ready to play.”
Qst: An excellent finish by Aaron Greene and then two headers from corners made it 3-0 before half time, so we were really in the driving seat?”Before half time was a good time to score and it settled us. Then after the break we controlled the game.”
Qst: Jack Byrne was very instrumental on the night, he got on the scoresheet and we were ruthless the way we kept at it?
“It was good to see that we didn’t settle for 2 or 3-0, we kept going. We hit the post twice in the second half as well so we kept pushing which was pleasing.”
Qst: The players looked very annoyed to give away even a consolation goal, does that demonstrate the high standards they set each other?
“We pride ourselves on clean sheets, it’s something we talk about and work really hard so we don’t concede goals. We’re disappointed when we give away the type of goal we gave away. There were so many areas where we should have done better. It’s a good finish from Michael [O’Connor] but it’s a poor goal from our point of view.”
Qst: Our sixth goal by Dean Williams was the icing on the cake, was he delighted to get his first senior goal for the club?
“He was delighted. Dean has worked extremely hard behind the scenes and his attitude has been excellent. I’m delighted he took his chance and put it away. Hopefully it’s the start of many goals for this club.”
Qst: Pico Lopes had to come off which left us down to ten men for the last 15 minutes of the game, how is he and the rest of the squad?
“We think he’s fine and it was just a little bit of tightness. Danny Lafferty is back.”
Qst: Dundalk will be on a high after their European win so what do you expect on Sunday?
“It’s going to be a tough game, it’s always a tough game when you play Dundalk whether it’s home or away. We know that they’re full of quality players throughout their squad and it’s going to be a difficult game but one that we’re really looking forward to.”
Qst: Is there always a strong rivalry when Rovers and Dundalk meet each season?
“It’s the two best teams in the country so when you have that there’s always going to be big games and rivalries. There’s a healthy respect there, from both sets of players, but that’s what you expect when the top two meet.”
Sunday’s game is live on RTÉ2, kick off is at 7.30pm