Team news from Stephen Bradley ahead of the final league game of the season on Monday away to Shelbourne. Kick off is at 7.30pm and the game will be streamed live on www.watchloi.ie
Qst. What did you think of our performance on Saturday in what was our last home league game of the season?
“I thought we looked back to ourselves. I said that against St Pat’s we were very patchy but against Derry we looked back to ourselves, played really well and could have won the game by a couple more.”
Qst. It was a low-key game on a Saturday afternoon, only a few days after celebrating the title but did you feel that we didn’t let standards drop?
“I think you could see that and the players deserve tremendous credit for that on the back of Wednesday. They kept to our standards and you could see that in the performance. They really performed to a high level which was good to see.”
Qst. Graham Burke curled a shot off the post, how did you think we played in the first half?
“I thought we were very good. If one or two of those go in in the first half I think it makes the game a lot more comfortable but we were still very good in the first half.”
Qst. A superb free kick by Graham gave Rovers the lead then…
“It’s a fantastic free kick (view here). Graham has that quality, anywhere around the goal he’s dangerous whether it’s left or right foot. It was obviously with his left foot but it was fantastic.”
Qst. And a lovely finish by Aaron Greene in injury time sealed the win…
“It was a good finish and I think he had a chance just before that. He’s disappointed not to finish the game with two goals. It was a good move, it started in our box and Aaron finished it off really well”.
Qst. We’ve scored a lot of goals in the last couple of months and that gets the headlines but nine clean sheets in the last 10 league games, is that the bedrock of a winning run?
“That’s what we speak about before every game, keeping clean sheets. We know with the players we have on the pitch and the way we play we’ll always create chances and score goals. So it’s about making sure that we defend right as a team and work really hard and we’ve obviously been keeping a lot of clean sheets, which is really pleasing.”
Qst. We finish the league campaign at Tolka Park, will Shelbourne be highly motivated to try and avoid that relegation playoff?
“It’ll be a difficult game. We know Shelbourne are fighting for points but we go there full of confidence and ready to go and win three points.”
Qst. With one game to go to try and remain unbeaten, does the team talk sort of write itself in that regard?
“I think we know if we win it’s a fantastic achievement as we go the season unbeaten. But we’ve got to concentrate on our performance because if we hit our levels the result follows. We’ve just got to focus on what we do.”
Qst. Will there be some tired legs after such a quick turnaround in two days?
“I’m sure it’ll have some effect because it’s a quick turnaround but this team and these players are at their best when they’re playing regular football. They’ve shown that over the last number of years. I don’t think Monday will be any different but it definitely will have some effect.”
Qst. Any injuries or suspensions coming out of Saturday and is Gary O’Neill available now?
“There’s no new injuries, one or two knocks but that’s only normal after a game. Gary could be, he did a little bit in training this morning but we have to see how it settles down now this evening and make a decision on that but he’s definitely getting there.”