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Qst: Although we wanted to add a new trophy to the cabinet you felt there were positives to take away from the President’s Cup last week?
“I felt there were real positives to take away from the game. I thought we were really good in large aspects of the game. There were certain bits that we need to tidy up on and I’m sure we will but overall we were really good.”
Qst: Was the goal the team conceded very uncharacteristic?
“Yes it was a really poor goal to give away from our point of view. It was a basic enough set play and we should have dealt with it after that but didn’t.”
Qst: With a couple of injuries, Liam Scales played at left wing back. And having hit the bar in the first half he scored a sensational equaliser. How impressive were those skills especially by a defender?
“I thought Liam was very good. Left wing back is not his number one position but he’s played anywhere on the left side throughout his career and I think that showed with how comfortable he was. He was exceptional. His goal was fantastic ability; two touches, one with his right foot and then the finish with his left. It was top class all around.”
Qst: You said there would be an edge to the game and so it proved, what was your view of Dundalk’s red card?
“He’s left the ground with two feet from maybe three or four yards away from the ball, so for me it was a red card.”
Qst: Some of the penalties in the shootout were way off target, including our own Graham Burke unfortunately, did you feel the terrible conditions were a factor at all?
“No, overall in terms of the cold night that was in it, with the players standing around afterwards maybe had something to do with it but our penos on the day just weren’t good and that’s the way it goes.”
Qst: It’s always such a long off season in Ireland, how excited is everyone to finally get going in the league?
“We’re really looking forward to it, everyone has worked really hard for quite a long time now for this moment, to get back playing. So we’re really excited. It’s just about making sure that we’re ready tomorrow – which we will be.”
Qst: St Pat’s have made some very good signings, what sort of prospect are they on Friday?
“A really difficult one. It’s going to be a tough game and we have to be ready for that. They’ve added to their squad so I imagine they’ll be up there this year.”
Qst: The Saints were the only team that Rovers didn’t defeat last year, does that suggest that they will again be difficult to beat?
“I think you can read too much into that. The year before it was a different team and the year before that was another team. What we have to look at is that this year they’re going to be a good side and now they’ve strengthened so you’d expect them to be even better.”
Qst: Rovers made a brilliant start to last season and won the opening two games in 2019 as well. How important is it to begin the campaign well?
“It’s always nice to start the campaign with a win and obviously that will be our aim again this year but we understand that we’re against a good side and we’ve got to respect that.”
Qst: How are the three players who missed last week (Sean Kavanagh, Neil Farrugia and Lee Grace) and are there any new injuries going into Friday?
“There’s no new ones and the other three have come along OK in the week, we just have to have a look at them today.”
Friday night’s match is live on RTÉ2 and rté Player from 19:30