Tuesday’s match kicks off at 7pm Irish time and is available to watch on the RTE News Channel
How happy was everyone with the 3-0 first-leg win in Tallaght?
“We were delighted. In a Champions League game, you’re not sure about the opposition and what they’re gonna bring to the game. We saw in the second half that they’re dangerous – they hit the post and the crossbar. So overall we were delighted to come away with the 3-0 win.”
Ronan Finn got his first-ever European goal to break the deadlock and then Rory Gaffney was the provider for Dylan, a similar move out on the left-hand side. So was it a very positive start to the game that brought about two good goals?
“Some of our play was really, really good because you’re unsure of the team you’re playing against and how they’re going to set up. I thought the players got a read on that very early and adjusted, and found the spaces and went and hurt them.”
And Rory grabbed the third himself in the second half. Did that just cap off an excellent performance from him on the night?
“Rory was very, very good. He’s been like that for a number of weeks. He was a handful and caused them a lot of problems. He was excellent. There were a lot of players who were really good on the night, to be fair but I thought Rory was fantastic.”
Was he perhaps lucky to still be on the pitch at that point?
“I didn’t see it at the time but when you see it back he’s obviously caught their player in the face. It could easily be a red card but thankfully it was yellow and he stayed on the pitch.”
Hibernians hit the post with a good chance that could have pulled it back to 2-1. Did that show the danger they can pose?
“It did. I think in the second half they showed much more of an attacking threat and what we’ll face tomorrow. So we’ve got to be ready for that and respect it but it did show that they’re dangerous in the attacking part of the pitch.”
It’s such a commanding lead from the first leg, how do we intend to approach this game in Malta?
“Our aim has to be to win the game. I don’t think you can come and hope to sit back for 90 minutes in any game and get a result. We’ll go to win the game. We obviously have to respect all aspects of it, in terms of the conditions, the pitch and the team you’re playing against – but we’ll go to win the game.”
Have you had a look at the pitch yet? Do you think that the heat will be a factor on Tuesday?
“There’s no getting away from it, it’s extremely hot and will be on match day but we knew that before we came. We’ve played in conditions similar to this before so we’ll be fine, we know how to manage it. The pitch is an Astro, we haven’t been on it yet, but we’ve played on a few of those this year, so we’ll be fine.”
Given the heat, and given the scoreline as it stands, does that allow us to change it up and play a slightly different game if we need to?
“Yes, if we need, as I said, this group is experienced in big games, especially in Europe, and hopefully all that experience will come to the fore tomorrow night”
Which first-team players haven’t been able to travel?
“Everyone has travelled. Graham and Jack are back.”
And otherwise, is anyone a doubt to be fit to start tomorrow?
“Neil might be another few days away, but has trained with us.”
There are about 300 Rovers supporters travelling so do you expect them to be in full voice in the stadium?
“We know that whenever we bring our fans we hear them. They have been fantastic domestically and in Europe, and I’ve no doubt that the 300 will seem like 3000 tomorrow night, we’re looking forward to hearing and seeing them.”