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Friday’s match in Dalymount Park kicks off at 7.45 pm and is available to stream on LOITV


That was the second time this season Rovers came from behind at half-time to win at the RSC. You must have been delighted to turn it around again?

“Yes, we were disappointed with the goal we gave away, a poor goal. But I felt that while we were playing well in the game, the final bit wasn’t quite there, although our play was very good. The second half was similar, but we were much more clinical in the final third.”

Waterford took the lead through a defensive mix-up. Did that goal sort of come against the run of play?

“It did, you could see that Waterford’s game plan was to sit and make it difficult for us while waiting for something that to happen. Unfortunately for us we gave them the opportunity and they were always going to try to dig in, hold on to the lead, and work hard, but yes, certainly, against the run of play.”

The fireworks incident was obviously a crazy thing to happen in a football game and you felt it killed our momentum when play resumed as well?

“I felt that it flattened the game. There were 30 minutes of the half to play when we restarted, and it was a strange game for those 30 minutes, the incident certainly flattened both teams.”

Two goals from set-pieces in the space of five minutes put Rovers in front. In fact, all three goals were Dylan Watts assists, how good were those deliveries and passes?

“Dylan was very good again, he created the three goals, but we shouldn’t be surprised by that. He has had a brilliant season and played at a really high level throughout the season, with a number of assists, he’s been very good all year.”

And Danny Mandroiu got the third goal, a typical finish from him and an overdue Player of the Month award in your opinion?

“Both goals were pleasing. He’s scored a couple of headers this season and it was good to see another one. The finish for the third goal was really good, he had plenty of time to think about it and it was a very calm finish. Then he gets his reward with the Player of the Month.”

Leon Pohls made his first Premier Division appearance and there were senior debuts for a couple of Under 17s players as well, Zayd Abada and Kieran Cruise. How do you think they did?

“Leon did well, the goal was a bit of a mix-up between himself and Lee, I think Lee has held his hand up for that. I thought the young lads Zayd and Kieran did well, it is always good to get them on the pitch for them to experience that level. They are still very young and at an early stage of their development, but great to get them on the pitch to get a feel for it.”

We have lost the two games at Dalymount Park this season but did brilliantly with ten men against Bohs in Tallaght. Will you be looking for a similar performance again on Friday?

“Also, in the first game in Dalymount, I didn’t think that there was too much wrong with that. We missed quite a few chances early on in that game. If we’d taken them, we would have been quite comfortable. We will look to go and put on a performance, win the game, and finish the season strongly.”

There won’t be any away fans at the derby. What sort of atmosphere should the team expect, or will it not bother them either way?

“I don’t think it will bother them. They have played enough big games and in front of enough big crowds over the years, we know that none of our fans will be there, but we know what to expect and don’t think that it will make much difference.”

Pico Lopes is on international duty and Sean Kavanagh will be out. Do Barry Cotter and any other players still have knocks?

“There are still a few with knocks that we won’t look at for this game, but hopefully, we will have them back for next week. If it had been a different point in the season, we could have pushed them, but won’t do that at this stage of the season.”