Head coach Stephen Bradley gave his team news update ahead of Friday’s game with Sligo Rovers:
On the last game (v Dundalk 10-10-17):
“Once we equalised to make it 2-2 I thought the momentum was with us. We were the team that looked strong in extra-time and the momentum was with us but we gave away a really poor third goal from our point of view. We made two bad decisions at vital times and they obviously punished us with the goals so we were disappointed with that.
The players gave everything. I thought they showed a strength of character to come back with 5 or 6 minutes left to equalise and then look like the stronger team in terms of pushing on. I can’t fault the players’ effort, desire or passion but we need to learn from that. When we went 1-0 up we conceded within a few minutes.
It was a great volley by Ronan Finn, he kept his technique right and hit it into the ground but it was disappointing that we didn’t just manage the game for a bit longer. I thought Gary Shaw was a handful all night and he did really well for Mikey’s goal, which was a great header. He didn’t have much time to react and he’s put it in the far top corner.
Credit to the fans, they came out in their numbers. They supported us right to the end and clapped us off at the end. They know the players gave everything. Sometimes that’s how semi-finals go, you don’t always get what you deserve. I know the characters and the personalities we have, I know they’ll come back stronger next season. But we need to learn our lessons because we’re going to be involved in a lot of big games over the coming years and we need to learn how to manage them better.
It was disappointing to lose but we’ll be fine, we’ll get ready and we’ll go again for Sligo. We want third, that’s our aim. It’s been about improving on last year and third, with a cup final and semi-final does that for us.
Dave Webster broke his foot the other night, he was caught in the first 10 minutes and no one got booked. He won’t play again this season. Roberto Lopes broke his nose. He’ll be okay, he’ll get an operation at the end of the season. Lee Grace and Trevor Clarke have been playing through knocks for the last few weeks but they’ll be okay.
Graham Burke ranon Tuesday, just before the game. He ran yesterday and today and he’s doing really well at the moment. Maybe he could play in the last game if he keeps progressing. It would be nice to get him on the pitch for that but there’s no rush obviously. He’s progressing really well and the doctor is happy.”