Team news from Stephen Bradley in advance of Thursday’s big UEFA Europa League second leg tie with Stjarnan.
Shamrock Rovers v Stjarnan (Iceland)
UEFA Europa League First Round Qualifier, Second Leg
Thursday, July 6th, 2017. Kick off 8pm
Speaking to shamrockrovers.ie today was Shamrock Rovers head coach, Stephen Bradley:
“I thought (in Sligo) we played well but started badly. In the first five minutes we got punished and we didn’t take our chances. Overall, obviously disappointed to lose the game but a lot of positives to take from it and lots to build on. When there’s eleven on the pitch it’s a more open game, once they went down to ten they just dropped back to the 18 yard box like they’re entitled to do to try and see it out. We need to find a way to get around that.
I had a look at it but I felt we had enough recovery to come back (from Iceland) and play, the squad’s playing well, the team’s playing well and we had enough to win the game. I think people look for excuses, if you watch the game we had four or five chances to go and win it. We didn’t score and on another day you score two or three of them and no one mentions anything about freshening up the squad.
Stjarnan were exactly what we thought they’d be, a physical team and dangerous from set plays. We knew that before we went there and it’ll be the same again tomorrow. They didn’t change much so it’ll be interesting to see if they will change anything for tomorrow. But we’re dangerous as well and Gary Shaw scored and I think Pico could have had another one. It’s great to get a win away in Europe, they’re hard to come by but it counts for nothing if we don’t go and win tomorrow.
We’re a different team here in Tallaght, they’ll see that tomorrow night with the crowd behind us and on a better pitch. We’ve got to go and respect them but at the same time we’ve got to go and try and win the game and if we do that I’m sure we’ll create chances. The support in Iceland was brilliant, the same in Sligo and the same it’s been all year. The players see that and they respond to that and I think you can sense that on the pitch. I know tomorrow will be a big crowd for us. I don’t think Stjarnan fully know what to expect.
It’s massive for us. As a group of players, a young group, to go and win away in Europe is massive for them and now for us as a club to go and win a tie, obviously financially it would help us massively as a club.
There are no injuries other than Paul Corry. I just felt Aaron Dobbs (loaned out to Wexford) needed games. He needs to go and play men’s football and score goals. The way Gary and the other lads have been playing, he hasn’t had a chance so it was time to let him go and play games. Sean Heaney (loaned out to Waterford) is the same, he hasn’t been in because the boys have been playing well so it’s a chance for him to go and play.”
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