You made five changes at UCD. Was it good to be able to freshen up the squad like that and come away with a good win at the same time?
“We had a couple of knocks and obviously we’ve had players that needed games. Like we’ve always said, we trust everyone within the squad so it was important with the week that we’d had, and the week coming up that we changed it up. I thought some of the performances were very good.”
Trevor Clarke continued his goalscoring form with a great run and one-two with Graham Burke. Did that sum up his performances lately?
“I think Trevor was very good on the night. He scored that goal but he created a number of opportunities for others as well. Some of his play was really good, he worked extremely hard and the chances that he was getting early on in the season, he’s getting them now and putting them away, which is always good to see.”
Aaron Greene made his first start of the season so he must have been delighted to cap it off with a goal as well?
“Aaron has had to be patient. He missed a bit but he’s had to be patient the last few weeks. We know Aaron is a brilliant professional. He’s always ready, trains really hard and you see what he brings to the team. He still has that quality and he gets a goal but he brings so much to how we play. He was excellent again on Friday night.”
There was an element of fortune with the third goal after build-up play involving a couple of your young substitutes but was that and another clean sheet for Leon Pohls a good end to a night’s work?
“Yeah, Justin and Conan did really well when they came on, as did Darragh so the three young boys who have come through have done well when they’ve been given their opportunity. That’s all you can ask for. It was good to see two of them involved in the build-up to that OG. That was pleasing to see and Leon, we’ve seen him grow the last few years and we felt that he was ready. It’s only two games in but he’s ready and I think he’s shown that. We know he will have tests, I’m sure he’ll be tested tomorrow night but we have full confidence in him.”
Rovers set a new club record by keeping 6 consecutive league clean sheets away from home, and winning 5 consecutive away league games all with clean sheets is also a first. Our form on the road must be something you’re really happy with?
“We’re delighted. We looked at last year and we know we were really strong at home and have been the last few years, but our away form, we felt we didn’t pick up enough points on the road. We feel we could be better in that department and so far, this year we have been. Our home form has always been strong but it always helps when you’re winning games away from home. It’s good to get both records and long may it continue.”
St Pat’s are having that new manager bounce with two wins out of two so far, so even though Rovers already played them twice are they looking any different a prospect?
“They’re slightly different in how they’re setting up and how they’re playing. There are different tactical tweaks to what they’re trying to do and I’m sure we’ll see that tomorrow. But one thing that hasn’t changed for Pat’s, no matter who their manager is, is that they have some very good individuals. Young Murphy has been very good, and they have Chris Forrester and Jake Mulraney so they have real quality in the attacking part of the pitch. That hasn’t changed and we know that if we’re not at our very best, those individuals are good enough to cause any team problems. So we’ve got to make sure we’re ready.”
Is there a lot of confidence in the team that if we keep performing like this it will be difficult for opponents to deal with and it’s a matter of trying to keep that going, despite a busy schedule?
“We’ve always felt that if we hit our performance levels that we’re extremely difficult for any team in the country to play against. But we have to hit our levels, we know that. If we come off our levels at all against any team in this league, you’re in for a very difficult night, which we saw against Cork and Sligo. We’ve got to make sure that we’re at our very highest levels.”
It’s a Monday night but our crowds have been pretty good for these midweek games, so are you hoping that on the back of the Bohs game and the team’s momentum, it’ll be a big attendance?
“Our support has been incredible, home and away since we’ve been in. We understand that Friday-Monday are difficult for fans to get to and our Monday home gates have been slightly down but they’ve still been very good. I think the fans know how important they are to us, the energy they give us. You’re always going to have a little lull in games and when you have a home crowd that is really loud, it definitely helps you get through those moments. Hopefully, we can have another big crowd tomorrow night to help us try and get another three points.”
Sean Gannon came back at UCD but Jack Byrne wasn’t involved, nor was Sean Kavanagh, Liam Burt and Simon Power. Are they available for Monday and is there anyone missing besides Dylan Watts?
“Jack will be back for Monday. He picked up a knock against Derry and played with it against Bohs. He didn’t train last week because of that and was left out against UCD, but he’s come through his work over the weekend just fine so he’ll be back. Sean Kavanagh is back but Simon Power is still out. Liam Burt played for the Under-19s today so he’ll get some minutes into his legs, which will be good for him. I’d say another week or ten days and he’ll be back and available for us, all going well today and during the week. Trevor Clarke is suspended.”