Tuesday evening’s match in Iceland kicks off at 20.15 Irish time. It is exclusively available to stream on LOITV.
It’s only half-time in the tie of course but were the players hurting after the first-leg defeat in Tallaght?
We were obviously frustrated because we felt that for large parts of the first half, we allowed them to play their type of game, and that was frustrating afterwards but sometimes it happens in Europe. You learn from it and make sure we’re ready for a different type of game on Tuesday.
Rory Gaffney had a good chance but Breidablik had us penned in for almost all of the first half. What did we have to do better against that?
We knew how they’d come and play, how they’d press and we were just a little passive in everything we did in the game, in and out of possession, and if you do that against good sides they can hurt you. They certainly did that in the first half and took full advantage of it.
After that, Rovers had much more possession and Sean Kavanagh had our best chance near the end. What pleased you about the second-half performance that we can bring to the second leg?
It was more like us in every way, in and out of possession. We had Sean’s chance in the second half. In the first half, we created opportunities but more so in the second half. We showed that if we play to our levels, we can definitely go and create and score goals on Tuesday.
Despite the one-goal lead, do you expect them to approach the game with the same style they did in the first half in Tallaght?
I don’t see them changing. When you watch the games they play, sometimes they change in possession a little bit, but out of possession, they always play the same way, so I don’t see that changing on Tuesday.
Rovers won in Iceland before, albeit a number of years ago and this group won in North Macedonia last year. Is there confidence in the camp to put in a good away performance, creatively and defensively that’s needed to get over the line?
We’ve just got to reach our levels. We know we can do that and we’ve shown over the years that we can win home or away. We need to learn from Tuesday, especially the first half, and put that right for tomorrow.
Everyone knows about the rewards on offer but it was a 7,200 crowd in Tallaght. Is that one of the motivations, for more Champions League nights like that?
We work so hard every day and every week to play in Europe and play in big games. We definitely want more of them and obviously, that’s the reward, more big games and we’ll do everything on Tuesday to make sure that happens.
You had seen the ground in the flesh already. What is the plan for tomorrow in terms of training and preparation on the pitch?
We’ll train on it this evening. It’s a big pitch and we’ll see whether it’s a decent surface. We train at 6 o’clock, the players will get a feel for it and then they’ll be ready to go.
Which players were unable to travel because of injury?
Trevor Clarke is still a few weeks away and we’ve had a little setback with Neil Farrugia, so he won’t be available for tomorrow. Neither will Jack Byrne, he hurt himself in the game on Tuesday.