Stephen Bradley: "We need to be more ruthless"

STEPHEN Bradley insists his Shamrock Rovers team will need to be more clinical if they are to deny Cork City a fifth straight win in the Premier Division when the Leesiders visit Tallaght Stadium tomorrow.

The Hoops manager points to the familiarity enjoyed by the Cork players as being a serious advantage in their campaign this season, but believes the potency of his outfit will increase with a growing understanding between the players, many of whom were brought in during the off season.

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“It’s going to be tough. Cork are on top at the moment and they’ve been up there with Dundalk the last few years.

“But we’ll want to give a performance and show that there’s not much between us.

“We have to be more ruthless and clinical in the final third of the pitch and that’s coming.

“Any team that’s been together for three years [like Cork] will know each other inside out. They understand each other- where they’ll run and what they’ll do.

“For us that’s not going to happen overnight. You have players who have been in the team only for the last three months, but they’re capable of doing that. They’re good players.

“Players are starting to understand each other’s movement on the pitch a lot more and it won’t be long before we’re starting to beat teams by three or four goals,” he said.

It was a weekend of mixed fortunes for Rovers as they were edged out 1-0 at home by Derry before they returned to winning ways in Terryland Park on Monday evening when they edged out Galway United 2-1.

Centre half Ryan McBride found the back of the net for Derry on Friday when he got on the end of a 68th-minute corner kick that was not defended well.

And despite enjoying a large percentage of possession, Rovers were unable to prise open the Candystripes’ defence even after the visitors were reduced to ten men when Lukas Schubert was shown a red card just three minutes after they had taken the lead.

“We were the better team against Derry” said Bradley. “I know they scored from a set play that bobbled around in the box and they had one other chance.

“It was disappointing to lose. It was a home game and I thought they [Derry] were there for the taking but we just couldn’t capitalise on it.

“I think we’ve been playing well. Any of the teams we’ve played we have dominated at times but we just need to turn that into longer periods” he stressed.

The Hoops did bounce back on the road three days later when a brace by Gary Shaw propelled them to victory against Galway.

And a result tomorrow night against a Cork side many are backing for the title would be a real boost for Bradley’s crew who will then be turning their attention to their Dublin derby against St Patrick’s Athletic the following week.

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