update 1.30pm Friday . This game is now sold out
Tickets for Friday night’s game continue to sell quickly, secure yours now. The match will be televised on Virgin Media Two, coverage begins at 7.30 pm
Briefly, reflecting on last week’s 1-0 win over Dundalk, there were plenty of things to like about the performance, but other parts were concerning but dealt with tactically during the game, would that be accurate?
“Yes, I think so. What I felt after the game was a true reflection when I looked at it again, we were very good for large parts of the game. In the first half, we gave up three moments in transition that Dundalk might’ve scored from, which is something we’re not happy about. I think we corrected that in the second half, and limited them to very little. Late on, Dundalk had a bit of pressure, but they had four or five forwards at that stage in terms of their position, so they were always going to have some pressure. In the main though, the performance was very good, and we controlled the game for large parts.”
Pico has an uncanny knack for scoring key goals from set pieces, once the quality from the free/corner is there, we’re a real threat.
“We feel we should always be a threat from set pieces, with the players we have in the box and the delivery we have. We feel we should score or be close to scoring from set plays. Our centre-backs usually help us out with scoring from set plays throughout the season and Pico came up with that important goal, but it was just reward for our performance.”
The day after the Dundalk game, you went over to see Gavin Bazunu playing for Southampton against QPR and you spent some time with him, how was he in the game and how does he seem to be getting on?
“I go over to see Gavin every now and again, also last Saturday Gavin was coming up against former Rovers player Sinclair Armstrong, so I thought I’d go over and have a look at that. It was a good game to see two kids to whom we’d given their debuts to at Rovers, they’ve both gone on now, so it was great to see them both playing. Gavin did really well in the game, and we had a catch-up afterwards which was nice. When you speak to Gavin about football it’s always interesting, he’s a real student of the game but he’s doing well, he’s happy which is so important and is playing in a team that plays really good football.”
Gavin is a regular visitor to Roadstone and Tallaght Stadium when he’s back in Ireland, it must be a real source of pride for you how he has built on the huge talent we saw saving a penalty for the first team in Cork as a 16-year-old?
“We’re all extremely proud of Gavin, the players and staff. He came into the first team very young for a goalkeeper but has gone on to do what he’s doing. But there’s so much more to come from him, I think he would tell you that also. But anytime he’s home it feels like he’s still part of the group, he’s around the training ground, and the dressing room on match days. The players love him and love having him around. It’s a special type of character who can do that, he’s Ireland’s number one and has played a lot of games for someone so young as a goalkeeper and is still humble in how he goes about his life.”
So, to this week, another live game, this time from Virgin, with the stadium heading for another really big attendance, the fans seem to be answering your appeal to turn up for the title run-in?
“The fans really do show up in their numbers for us and genuinely we appreciate it, they don’t know what it means to us and how hard it is to play for other teams when it’s like that. They’ve shown up home and away, domestically and in Europe, incredible support and it’s something we’re really grateful for so a massive thank you to them for that.”
We’ve had two wins and a 2-2 draw last time out in Dalymount with this week’s opponents Bohs, it’s the Dublin Derby and Bohs are challenging well this season, it has all the makings of a belter of a game.
“I imagine it will be another really good game. I’ve said throughout the year that their attacking players are really strong, and they cause everyone problems, so we know their qualities. But we also know we can hurt them, throw a Dublin Derby in the mix, Bohs v Rovers is always going to be a tough game, a really competitive game but I also think there’ll be a lot of quality on show as well. So, it has all the makings to be a really good game and a great advertisement for the league.”
Liam Burt came off early second half last week with a dead leg, did he come out ok this week and any other injury updates to report?
“It was a bit sore early in the week, but he’s back training. He just got a bad knock and the type of player he is who dribbles a lot, he’s going to get a lot of contact. So, he took a bad knock in the Dundalk game, and we tried to see would it ease as the second half began, but it didn’t so we took him out. But he’s doing better this week. Everyone else is fine again, bar Jack Byrne who is probably another week to ten days away. He’s doing well in terms of his fitness work; the injury has been slower than we hoped obviously but he’s getting there.
UPDATE Friday 1st Sept 1.30pm – MATCH IS SOLD OUT