Shamrock Rovers’ Paul Corry leads a coaching session in Bluebell Community Centre at the AIG Heroes event on Tuesday. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

SHAMROCK Rovers manager Stephen Bradley believes his improving side will be a force to be reckoned with once they have fully gotten used to playing together.
Speaking after his side’s 2-1 win over champions Dundalk at Tallaght Stadium last weekend, Bradley said: “I’ve been saying it for a long time. I know people have been on our case on the outside; we’re dropping points, we’re this, we’re that.
“I know what happens in that dressing room and assembling our new group is going to take time. The longer we are together, the better we will be.”
In the game prior to Dundalk, Rovers conceded a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Limerick and Bradley spoke about how proud he was of his young side’s reaction to that disappointment.
“I thought the players were really brave because we spoke about last week and conceding late on, and the reason why was because we dropped too deep for the whole of the second half.
“At half time we said no matter what happens stay high and press them high.”
Rovers captain Ronan Finn opened the scoring against his former team in the first half from a finish with the outside of his boot but Bradley insisted it was his overall performance that really pleased him.
“I thought overall Ronan was unbelievable; his energy from the first minute set the tone for us for the whole game.”
Dundalk arrived in Tallaght desperately needing three points to keep their title hopes alive but they were met with a determined Rovers side who took a 2-0 lead into the break thanks to David McAllister’s back post header eight minutes before half time.
Many in the stadium envisaged a second half fightback from Dundalk but it never materialised, and Bradley believes his players deserve credit for that.
“They have been the best team in the country for the last three years. We said at half time to expect them to come out in the second half and have a real go because they are not champions for no reason. I think a bit of credit has to go to our lads.”
The games don’t get any easier for Rovers as next up is a trip to fierce rivals Bohemians at Dalymount Park on Friday evening but Bradley is welcoming another big occasion.
“I think it is a great game to go into off this because sometimes when you play big games like this and win them, the next game can be a bit flat because of all the adrenaline and it’s not a big game.
“It doesn’t get much bigger than Bohs away,” Bradley concluded.

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