Stephen Bradley gave us a team news update ahead of tonight’s game (7.45pm kick off) v Cork City at Tallaght Stadium:
“It was a big three points. I thought we started really well but then we faded out of the game. Derry were the stronger team for the second part of the first half. But in the second half we came more into it and we obviously got the goal so we’re happy with the three points.
Up in the Brandywell in April we were excellent, it was one of our best away performances all year. We should have won 4 or 5 nil but we didn’t and it’s quickly forgotten about because you don’t win the game. This time we went up there and just played OK and won the game, it’s strange how it works. That’s what the top two have done for the last few years. They don’t play well every week but they win games and that’s why they’ve been the top two. If anyone else, including ourselves, wants to get close to that, that’s what we have to bring.
Dan Carr has nine goals this year and he maybe should have 15 or 20 with some of the positions he gets himself in because his feet are so good. So it was great to see him in that position to score the tap in because a lot of his goals have been ones that you didn’t expect him to finish. As an attacking player he needs to start getting in the back post and getting those scrappy ones from four or five yards.
There’s a lot in it [9 clean sheets in the last 11 league games]. I think if you really look at the season and analyse it, our stats have improved massively this year. So it shows that we’re going in the right direction. Definitely Alan Mannus and Gavin Bazunu have something to do with it but there’s a bigger picture, a lot is happening in front of them as well.
[The gap weeks] are not ideal, there’s no point in saying otherwise. Any player wants to play on a regular basis, they’d much rather games than training. But what it has done is given us a chance to get some bodies back and clear up some little niggles we had so hopefully we’re well rested and prepared for Cork. Joey O’Brien is back but Sean Boyd is still out.
I’m expecting a tough game like we always get against Cork, whether it’s home or away. They’ll come and be at it like they always are. We’ll have to really hit our levels to win the game. I’m sure John Caulfield will be looking at Monday night as the more important game for them, which is obviously understandable. But it doesn’t matter what team they bring, whether they come with a full strength team or a weakened team. We’ve got to prepare like we always do and be ready to face the best Cork team that’s going to be there. If we don’t do that we’ll find ourselves on the wrong end of a result.
We’ve done well against Cork this season, even the game we lost down there I thought there were stages where we were really good. We beat them well in Tallaght last time and we’ll be going out tonight to do the same, to win the game, to impose our style on them and see where it takes us.
The crowds have been good all season and the new stand looks fantastic. It’s great that it’s done and it just gives the ground a whole different feel to it. It’s starting to look like a proper little ground. It’s the first thing the players see when you go out and you get a buzz. We look forward to filling it next year hopefully.