The away allocation for Oriel Park is SOLD OUT. The match will be streamed on LOITV
How do you reflect on the two legs against Breidablik and the disappointment of our Champions League exit?
I think overall we obviously haven’t done enough over the two legs to go through. There’s a number of different reasons for that but ultimately, we’ve given away terrible goals from our point of view, really basic goals and that’s what’s cost us.
Rovers started the game well but fell behind after a few warning signs from Breidablik attacks, was that a blow to concede early?
Yes, because we wanted to start well, and I felt we did. We were really growing into the game, and we had the start that we wanted. Then we give away a poor goal and that’s key in those types of games, that you don’t concede those goals.
Graham pulled one back from the penalty and we finished strongly but was it always a mountain climb after they had got the second goal from the short corner?
It was. When you look back at the game in Tallaght last week and the game over there, all three goals are really poor and really basic from our point of view. If you do that at any level, you’re going to struggle to win games but especially at Champions League level. Unfortunately, we’ve done that, and it’s cost us.
It means we’ll have to do it the hard way this time by winning three straight Conference League ties starting with Ferencvaros, so it couldn’t be much tougher for Rovers but there is obviously a desire in the group to get there again?
That’s the aim. It’s always been the aim; can we go and repeat what we did last year in terms of European football. But we’ve given ourselves a really tough route now. It is what it is. We’ll focus on Dundalk first and then go and focus on Ferencvaros and see can we do enough over the two games to go through.
The FAI Cup is a competition that means a lot to the fans. Is it similar for the players as a chance for more silverware if we get past an early-round challenge like this?
It’s a competition that we know means a lot to the club and everyone involved, so it’s definitely a competition we want to go as far as possible in. That starts on Sunday against Dundalk, so it’s definitely one that we want to go and try and win if possible.
We were beaten at Oriel Park a few weeks back so is it a case of needing to be at our best to get a result on the night at a ground like this?
We know what it takes to win these sorts of games and we know we must be at our best to win these sorts of games, so nothing less will do. It’s going to be a tough game. We were beaten quite recently up there so we know the level of performance that night wasn’t good enough and we’ll need to be a lot better than that to win the game. That’ll be the aim.
What do you think of Dundalk’s form as of late or can Cup football be a bit different in that regard?
They’ve beaten us and had a loss in between that and won their European tie so I’m sure they’ll have confidence. But we’re an experienced group so we know what we’ll have to do to win the game. It’s a difficult game and they’ll have confidence going into it but we know what we have to do to reach our performance levels and ultimately take us through.
Hungary will only be four days away, and some good players are missing but has it been good to get a few others back from injury the last few weeks to be able to use the squad in times like this?
We’re starting to get players back, which is always good. You can make excuses and moan about injuries but they’re part of football and you have to deal with them. As a group, we’ve done that really well the last few years and I expect this year to be no different. Obviously, we want bodies available but when players are injured, there’s not much you can do.