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Bradley hails players after 'great' derby win but says they must focus on title bid

For the third consecutive Dublin derby between Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians, the Hoops have come...

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

17:56 15 Feb 2020



Bradley hails players after 'g...
Soccer

Bradley hails players after 'great' derby win but says they must focus on title bid

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

17:56 15 Feb 2020

For the third consecutive Dublin derby between Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians, the Hoops have come out on top. 

A 1-0 win over the Gypsies against the elements at Dalymount Park saw Rovers come away with the bragging rights in the feature game of the opening weekend of the new SSE Airtricity League of Ireland Premier Division season.

Speaking to Off The Ball at full time, Rovers head coach Stephen Bradley praised his players for their performance in such testing conditions.

"It was horrific. I don't know what it was like in the stand but out on the side of the pitch, it was really bad.

"After 20 minutes the pitch was cut up, the players were losing their footing, it was terrible.

"We obviously heard about the storm all week though so we knew we'd have to adapt to it and couldn't use it as an excuse.

"We knew we'd have to adapt our game to it and I thought we did that, we still played at the right times and obviously it wasn't on to play as much as we liked but we adapted to the conditions and came out on top."

Rovers dominated for much of the game, particularly in the first half, and Bradley felt that patience was important, with them getting a winner through Aaron Greene in the 93rd minute.

"We spoke about it at half-time and said it might take until the 90th minute. I felt we were fully in control in the first half, we had two or three really good chances, we should have taken them but we didn't but I felt in control.

"We said to keep plugging away until how long it takes and then when they got the man sent off we obviously just completely dominated and thankfully got the goal."

For many, Rovers will be considered Dundalk's biggest challengers this season as the Lilywhites go in search of a third consecutive title in a row.

Bradley was keen to talk down any hype surrounding this derby fixture and stressed the importance of looking ahead and focusing on their campaign.

"It's great to win a derby game and to win it in the fashion we did. It's fantastic, we'll enjoy it today but we'll move on now. On Monday we get ready for Cork, it's three points and that's it, it's put to bed for us.

"I'm looking forward to playing the game back in Tallaght, I went down to watch Cork and Shels last night, it was a good game.

"I think, to be fair, Shels deserved to win the game, they were excellent on the night, but Cork showed enough to tell me they can come to Tallaght and cause us plenty of problems so we need to fully respect them to win the game.

"I'm sure we'll get a really big crowd next week, first home game and it's up to us now to go and play and make sure the crowds keep coming back."

Shamrock Rovers host Cork City at Tallaght Stadium at 8pm on Friday 21 February.

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