Bradley: We have to win silverware
Rovers boss lashes critics ahead of final
Stephen Bradley admits that winning a major trophy for the first time since 2010 is essential for Shamrock Rovers to move on to another level.
But the Hoops boss maintains that a strong performance in 2019, which saw them finish second in the league and reach next Sunday's FAI Cup final, is a response to the begrudgers who doubted him and the club.
Rovers ended the league season on a high with Friday's 3-0 dismissal of Cork City. That win saw them finish 38 points ahead of Cork, a massive turnaround from the 2017 campaign when Cork won the league and were 22 points above Rovers in the table.
"I said when I came in, it wouldn't happen overnight," said Bradley.
"And if you look at everything we're against, we're coming in with a team that was nowhere near capable, we were competing for fourth place when we came in, and people think you should challenge overnight, against two teams that were the top teams for five years. It doesn't happen like that. It takes time.
"We've done it our way, the right way. I believe that the team is going in the right direction, the club is going in the right direction, and we will be successful if we keep working at it."
Bradley's programme notes for the final game of the league season had a response to his doubters and he took time to expand on that.
"When you're at this club, great clubs, you always get people like that - begrudgers and people who just want to knock everything you do, and talk about nonsense that they haven't really got a clue about.
"And we've had to listen to that.
"We've had to listen to a lot of that from people within the game and people in the media and they don't know what they're talking about. We know what we're doing, we know where we're going, and people look at this year and think: 'Oh something's happened'. It's been happening for a couple of years if anyone had watched us closely and seen what we were building and who we were recruiting.
"Are we there yet? No, we've got to go win something as a group. Yeah, it's not one thing, there's been a lot of nonsense spoken by people within the game and within the media and not really backing it up with any sort of concrete facts or evidence," he added.
"The plan was always to win something but we said it would take time. I'm not saying we'll do it next week or we should do it this year but if you look at what's happening, people think this year we're a good side but it's been coming for quite some time.
"We're building a team, we're still building a team, and I think it's a very strong team."