Was it a very happy dressing room and flight home to Dublin after getting the job done on Thursday?
“The players were obviously delighted. Everyone was delighted, the staff and I’m sure the fans were. It was an important game for us, and we’ve gone and been really professional and managed the game really well. We’ve come away with the 3-0 win over the two legs so we’re really happy.”
It was two good moves down the left from Liam Scales and how clinical was Rory Gaffney for both finishes?
“They’re two great finishes. Liam did really well for both goals but Rory’s composure to finish both of them was really good. His overall game was good, but those finishes were excellent.”
Had we been under pressure before the opening goal, including their gilt-edged chance a few minutes earlier?
“We knew that when we went away from home, they’d be a different team to what we saw in Tallaght. We’d seen that in their European games. At home they’re a different team and we knew that they’d come out and play. In the attacking part of the pitch, they had some clever players with good movement, and we had to respect that, which we did. They had one chance throughout the game, but I thought we did well. There were one or two periods in the game where they had a bit of pressure but that’s to be expected when you’re playing away from home in Europe.”
We got the insurance goal on 66 minutes. Did you feel we looked confident in the second half and coped well with the 31 degrees heat all evening?
“Yes, I thought we managed the game really well throughout. It was a really hot evening, and you could see early on it took the players quite a bit to get used to it. It was probably the hottest evening that we had when we over there, so it was extremely hot at kick off time. I thought the players managed that aspect of the game and the second goal obviously makes it more comfortable.”
The club records keep getting broken. It’s the first time Rovers have won three games in a row in Europe, and you have now won the most ties as manager (four). Are you proud of that?
“I’m delighted for the group because we’ve been very close the last few years and played some tough games against some top clubs around Europe. We’ve been very, very close and the last couple of games we’ve obviously gone on and won. It puts us in a good position going into Thursday, which will be a really difficult tie, but it puts us in a position that we want to be in. So, it’s great for the group.”
Drogheda are having a good season although they’re in a bit of a slump at the moment. Are you expecting them to be really up for it on their own turf?
“Of course. Like Longford, I’m sure Drogheda will look at ourselves and think we’ve played Thursday and that it’s a good time to play us and a good time to bounce back with three points. We’ve got to make sure that we’re ready for that which I’m sure we will be. We’ll be ready for the best that Drogheda have. It’s always a difficult game in Drogheda and I expect Sunday to be no different but we’re in really, really good form. We’re playing with a lot of confidence and we’re looking forward to the game.”
Similar to Longford last Sunday. are these sort of league games between Europe really important because they can have a big say in where the trophy goes at the end of the season?
“They’re important games, we know that. Every game is important for us. In the second half of the season every game is important, and we approach every game in that manner. We’ll be ready for Sunday.”
Are there any new injuries?
“Hopefully, nothing major has come out of Thursday. There’s a few knocks – Dylan Watts, Lee Grace and Joey O’Brien – and we’ll have to see how they settle down today after training.”
Sunday’s match in Head in the Game Park kicks off at 3pm and is available to stream on LOITV