Listen to this post:
Friday’s nights match at the RSC kicks off at 7.45 and can be streamed on LOITV
Was Friday a very special night for Shamrock Rovers and for you personally?
Yes, it was a special night for all involved, players, staff, staff based in the stadium as well, and obviously the fans, it was a special night for all of us to have the crowd that we did in Tallaght Stadium, to have the performance that the players gave, and to have the celebrations after was pretty special and something that I know I’ll never forget, and people in the stadium will never forget.
You spoke about wanting to win at Tallaght for the first time. There was a bit of pressure on the players to deliver but how well did they respond to it with that performance?
Yes, there was pressure from the big crowd and us wanting to win it in Tallaght Stadium. I know how this group works, I know how they feel and think, and they always perform in pressurised situations, so I felt that they would perform. I knew that they were in a good place all week mentally and physically, and they delivered a really brave performance that showed a lot of courage. They faced up to the pressure and played and attacked the game in the right manner
Danny Mandroiu brought his tally to 12 for the season. How good were his two first half goals?
Yes, two different goals, but both really good goals and I thought his overall performance was very good. Himself and Dylan Watts are playing at a really high level at the moment, and they brought that again on Friday, I thought both were excellent
Was Aidomo scoring his first league goal just the icing on the cake on what was a perfect night and then the celebrations could begin?
I’m delighted for Aidomo, he’s been very good this year, every day in training, and he’s brought that to the pitch, and I’m delighted for him to get his first League goal. We said a few weeks back when he missed a chance or two that he would score goals for the club, and I firmly believe that. He’s a great player to work with in terms of his attitude and work rate, I’m delighted he got his goal as it capped off what was a brilliant night and a night that I’m sure he’ll never forget.
It was a carnival atmosphere on the night with over 7000 fans and what about the emotion on the pitch afterwards as everybody wanted to make up for missing out on that last year?
The atmosphere was unbelievable, the South Stand was the best I’ve ever seen it, the celebrations on the 20th minute mark were brilliant to see. You could see the energy in the ground from the first minute, you could even feel it in the warm-up, and the players respond to that all the time, and they did so on Friday. The atmosphere was first class, with a massive crowd, and then afterwards it was brilliant to share the celebrations with family, friends, fans, and everyone involved with the club because we missed out on that last year
Do you need a hunger within the group to retain a league title, as we have done, and do you feel that will be there to win even more trophies after this?
You definitely need a bit of hunger, you need a lot of things to retain a title, hunger is one of them. If we are to achieve anything going forward, that must be in our armoury next year. The players have shown that, and many more attributes this year. You saw the release that came out of the group on Friday. A lot of work goes in- winning a League is very difficult and retaining it even more so, so much goes into it and it was great to see the players enjoy it on Friday night.
A word on Alan Mannus as well. He didn’t have a whole lot to do on Friday, but it was his 100th clean sheet for the club, having debuted in 2009 during your first season here. A terrific milestone?
It is an incredible milestone for Alan. He’s been phenomenal for the club. Some of his performances have won games and trophies for the club. He’s been outstanding in both spells here this year, and even this year he’s shown why he’s the best in the country. He’s been top class again and long may he continue.
We’ve won the league with three games to spare. Last year the motivation was to complete the season unbeaten. What is it this time, to create a bigger points gap?
The points gap does come into it, but the standards and levels that the players have set over the last couple of years come into play. We don’t just turn that off and on, and tomorrow will be no different, we’ll go to win the game. We know Waterford are a good side, we saw that in Tallaght and they were very good against Derry during the week. Their form since the manager has come in has been brilliant, he’s done a brilliant job, and we know it will be a tough game, but we have our own standards to live up to tomorrow night.
Any injuries or suspensions going to this Waterford game?
Chris McCann is suspended. We have a few knocks and will look at them tomorrow.