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Q: How pleased were you with the win and performance in Derry on Tuesday?
A: Yeah delighted, because it’s a tough place to go. It’s obviously a long journey on the back of Sligo away on the Saturday night, two long journeys away, so delighted with the performance and the win
Q: Did you feel a lot of things really clicked on the night with some really good passages of play?
A: Yeah I think we’ve had that in all our games, we just had it for a little bit longer the other night, it’s getting there, it’s getting better, we need to turn that into a 90 minute performance, but that’s going to take time. It’s going to take more games, but I think every game we’ve had passages of play and it was the same the other night we just had it for longer periods.
Q: Our great record at The Brandywell continues, some people complain about the pitch up there, but you did say beforehand that we really enjoy it?
A: Yeah it’s a big pitch, which allows you to have a lot of spaces, whether that’s in front of the opposition team or behind them, but there’s a lot of spaces on that pitch and if you use them right, it can work to your advantage. We enjoy playing on it.
Q: Goals in quick succession for Rory Gaffney and Graham Burke in the first half, how special was Graham’s goal?
A: It’s an incredible strike from Graham, first of all to see it so quickly and then to execute it. There’s not many players in the country that could see it, never mind execute and Graham obviously did both. I think you would have to go a long way to beat that for goal of the season. It was an unbelievable strike.
Q: In your career as a player, and a coach in Ireland and the UK, you’ve been involved in a lot of games over the years, have you seen a long-range strike quite like that before?
A: No, not like that. Obviously, you see lads hit volleys from 20 or 30 yards or half volleys and they look nice, but I’ve never seen anything like that live. Like I said, it was a fantastic strike
Q: You freshened things up with a few changes, with such a hectic schedule this week and in April, did you try to plan 2/3 games ahead when you considered your starting eleven?
A: No, you try and win the game in front of you, you don’t plan for what’s down the road. You try and win the game in front of you, but when you do that you have to be mindful that it’s demanding on the players, a lot of games in a short period of time, and plus how we play demands a lot of players in certain positions, so you got to be mindful of that when you’re picking the team. But you always look at the game in front of you.
Q: In Derry, Gary O’Neill came in for his first start since October and Max Murphy made his first senior start for the club as well, how do you think they did?
A: Excellent. I thought Gary was really good. He’s been waiting a long time, he had a bad injury, and we’ve been careful with him getting him back. It was great to get the 90 minutes into him the other night. I thought he was very, very good. I’m delighted for young Max, because he’s had to be patient and had to work hard, and with young boys you have to be careful of when you put them in and for how long. I thought he was excellent the other night. He really went and took his opportunity, which is good to see.
Q: Newly promoted Longford have made a good start to their season, at least until that heavy defeat to Drogheda at the weekend, what sort of team are they, and from what you’ve seen so far what do you expect from them?
A: They’re really good in the attacking part of the pitch, they have some good players. In all their games, they’ve been really, really tight games other than the Drogheda game. I expect a difficult game. They’re going to come to Tallaght and enjoy the big pitch and want to come and have a go at us so we’ve got to make sure that we’re ready for that
Q: Finally, how close are Joey O’Brien & Neil Farrugia to coming back and where there any new knocks from Tuesday night?
A: Neil won’t be available this week, maybe another 2 weeks for Neil. We’ll have to assess Joey day by day. Other than that, there’s a few knocks from the game and we’ll just have to assess them this morning and see how they are.
Saturday’s match against Longford Town kicks off behind closed doors at 6pm. It’s available to watch on WatchLOI