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Quotes from Stephen Bradley in advance of tomorrow’s league game v Longford Town at Tallaght Stadium, 3pm kick off. All tickets are sold, the game is available on LOITV.

Was it a great feeling for everyone involved and was there probably a bit of relief to get that late winning goal against Teuta on Thursday night?

“There was definitely a bit of relief and a good feeling, it was another good European win for the group which is really important. We had to wait very late, and we had to be so patient in the game, in terms of how they set up and how they played, and how negative they were towards the game. So, it was great to get the win in the end.”

And what a dream come true for 17-year-old Aidomo Emakhu to be the one to score the winner?

“It’s a fantastic night for him. I’m sure he’s dreamt about nights like that. He’s been great since he’s been in with the first team, his attitude has been brilliant. He’s kept his head down and he works hard. He wants to learn and it’s important to have those qualities. He’s obviously a very good player, he’s talented but the way he goes about his business is really refreshing when you see a young boy like that. I’m delighted for him, and he deserves it.”

Aidomo becomes the club’s youngest’s ever goalscorer in European competition. Was it plain to see not only how much it meant to him but how delighted his teammates were for him too?

“I think Aidomo has really become a part of the first team squad in the last few months and I think you saw that with the reaction of his teammates for the goal. They’re obviously happy that it gives us a 1-0 lead in the game, but you can see the delight in their face for Aidomo. They all recognised how special it was for him, being such a young kid, coming on and doing that. You could see in their faces, the reaction, they knew what it meant to the kid which was brilliant to see.”

Is that a difficult game to try and analyse in some ways become the opposition were so incredibly negative in their approach? From the outset their game plan seemed to be about frustrating Rovers and stopping any momentum?

“It’s a difficult game to analyse, you’re right because I think we need to be better in certain aspects, but it was an extremely negative performance from them. They have the right to play how they like but it’s just really surprising when you’re in the third round of a European competition and that’s what you face. But we managed to break it down in the end and it’s something that we must learn from as a group. To become better at playing a team that comes with that mindset and that attitude.”

The game seemed to be petering out in the last 10-15 minutes. What was your thinking in how we could eventually break them down?

“We always believe we’ll score a goal. I think we’ve shown that on a number of occasions this year. We never stop believing and the way we play helps us with that because it wears teams down and it only takes a split second for them to switch off and we’re in. We never stop believing that we’re going to score a goal and thankfully that was the case on Thursday.”

And it’s an old cliché but the job is only half done now?

“Definitely because we’ve to go over there and play a difficult game in what will be difficult conditions, but I believe that we’re more than ready for it. They’ll come and play, and it will definitely suit us more in the game and it’s one that we’re really looking forward to.”

Longford have given us a good game on two occasions already this season, despite struggling at the bottom of the table. What are you expecting on Sunday?

“I’m expecting something very similar to what we’ve had in the last two games that we’ve played them. It’ll be a difficult game, they’ll come with a game plan, and we’ve got to be ready for that and respect that. I’m sure we will because we know how important tomorrow is and how important three points is, so we’ll be fully focused for whatever Longford bring.”

We’ve seen in years gone by that League champions must be able to come back from European games and keep performing domestically, even in a tough schedule. Is that the standard that we set for ourselves too?

“Definitely, we know that we have a busy schedule. We’ve known that for some time, it’s about making sure that we’re right for each and every game and I’ve no doubt that the players will be. They’re really professional in their mindset and their attitude and it won’t be an issue for the group. We’re at our best when we’re playing games regularly and if we want to go and retain our title we’ve got to go and make sure that we’re ready for these games.”

Sean Gannon is suspended. Has anyone picked up a knock since Thursday?

“Everyone has come through OK; Sean is the only one missing”.


Sunday’s game in Tallaght Stadium kicks off at 3pm and is available to stream at LOITV