“We don’t want to be just scraping into Europe every year”– Miele

By Stephen Leonard

SHAMROCK Rovers midfielder Brandon Miele is hoping he and his team mates can push on from a likely fourth-place finish in the Premier Division this season.

The Hoops will be looking to copperfasten a top-four finish at least in the Airtricity League when they welcome the in-form Bray Wanderers to Tallaght Stadium this evening (Friday).

Brandon Miele big1033212

With the top two Dundalk and Cork poised to contest the FAI Cup Final again this season, a fourth place finish will be good enough to see Rovers into the Europa League qualifiers next year.

But Miele believes the players are capable of more than that, telling The Echo: “The main thing is that we strengthen up and the players come back raring to go in pre-season, because we don’t want to be just scraping into Europe every year.

“We want to be up there with Cork and Dundalk, challenging for the title and hopefully we’ll do that next season.”

The job of securing European football is not done yet and Bray will not make it easy.

The Wicklow side has won six out of their last seven fixtures, climbing to seventh place in the table and will not make it easy for the Hoops who were unable to derail Dundalk’s march towards a third successive Airtricity League title.

Indeed Rovers were outplayed by Stephen Kenny’s side when the Lilywhites came to Tallaght on Friday and returned home celebrating a comfortable 3-0 win.

Second-half goals from Brian Gartland, Dane Massey and Ciaran Kilduff proved more than enough to maintain Dundalk’s four-point advantage at the top of the table with as many games remaining.

Consistency has proven a real problem for Rovers this season with one win arising from their last seven games.

“Every team goes through a bad patch and I suppose this is ours,” said Rovers midfielder Brandon Miele.

Yet the fact that this is their last home match of the season and a win will secure European football, there will be no shortage of incentive for Rovers to take all three points.

Breaking into the top five may be a long shot for Bray given that Sligo Rovers are four points ahead, but they will not be throwing in the towel on that ambition just yet.

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