herald

Sunday 25 June 2017

Hoops effort a boost for Bradley

Graham Burke
Graham Burke

A red card for a debutant on the opening day of the season was not part of the plans but Stephen Bradley is still pleased to see more of an edge from his Shamrock Rovers side this term.

The Hoops lost their first league game of 2017, going down 2-1 away to Dundalk on Friday night and they will be without their goalscorer Graham Burke for next Friday's clash with Bohemians as Burke was sent off two minutes after his goal, dismissed for a lunge at Jamie McGrath. Bradley had bemoaned the lack of steel in his side last season but he was pleased with what he saw in Oriel Park.

"We could have played better, but in terms of showing character and standing up to it we were unbelievable," says Bradley.

"In the last 15 minutes we were down to 10 men but we played well, I don't think many teams will play well with 10 men away to Dundalk.

"I hate moral victories, I wanted the points, I hate saying 'We should have got this' but if we show that effort every week we won't be far off at the end of the season.

"We should have come away from Dundalk with a draw.

"We hit the post, had a disallowed goal, we could have nicked it but deserved a point," added Bradley.

The Rovers boss says he has spoken to sub Burke about his "second of madness" which led to the red card.

"Sometimes that happens in big games but Graham will have to learn from that and make sure it doesn't happen again," Bradley said, his focus now on Friday's clash with a Bohemians side, who lost 4-1 at home to Derry City on Friday.

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