Monday 22 January 2018

Hoops need mean streak - Bradley


Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Stephen Bradley says that his Shamrock Rovers side need to be meaner at the back if they are to move up the league table.

As they prepare to face an in-form Galway United side, whose seven-game unbeaten run is bettered only by league leaders Cork City, the Hoops are reflecting on a disappointing weekend where they lost 3-1 to Derry City, ending their own two-game winning streak.

Seven defeats in 14 games has left Rovers off the pace, eight points off second place, never mind keeping tabs with champions-elect Cork, and a return of just two clean sheets all season has also played a part.

And Bradley admits that while his side are strong in attack, they need to discover a mean streak at the other end.

"If we play the way we have been playing I'm sure we'll be OK. It was disappointing to take that on Friday because I thought we deserved more but there wasn't a lot wrong. We just need to tighten up and do what we've been doing going forward," says boss Bradley.

Galway have recovered from a poor start to put together that impressive unbeaten run, including last week's 2-1 win over Finn Harps.

"It'll be a tough game, we knew that when we went down there and played them. I think it shows how good our win was down there at that time. People didn't give us much credit for it then, they thought we should go down there and win but they've shown since that they're a difficult side to play against. It'll be no different tonight," added Bradley.

Rovers expect to have Trevor Clarke fit to face United but Roberto Lopes (ankle) could miss out.

Galway were beaten 2-1 at home to Rovers back in March but the current side under boss Shane Keegan is a more formidable unit. "If we could keep our run going, it would be brilliant," says Keegan.

"The undefeated streak does give a tremendous confidence to the players and at the moment they feel like they can take anybody on and go toe-to-toe with them. That will be the case tonight.

"We're out of the bottom three on goal difference, but at the same time, it keeps our momentum going. We're on a great run, we've got three games to go until the mid season break, the challenge is can we get to the break unbeaten.

"It might put a bit of daylight between ourselves and those bottom three spots. As we've seen this year, it's remarkable how tight the division is," added Keegan.

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