Tuesday 19 March 2019

Rovers to assess Burke ahead of derby

CALL-UP: Graham Burke. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
CALL-UP: Graham Burke. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Shamrock Rovers insist they will not over-work forward Graham Burke as he deals with the demands of club and country.

Ahead of tonight's big Dublin derby at home to St Patrick's Athletic, the Rovers camp is on a high after Burke played for Ireland in Sunday's testimonial match in Glasgow.

There was more good news for Burke yesterday when the FAI confirmed that Burke, and Bohemians keeper Shane Supple, would be in the Ireland squad for the forthcoming international games against France and the USA.

It's a tough schedule for Burke, who played for Rovers in Sligo on Saturday, lined out for Ireland on Sunday, trained with his club yesterday, should play in tonight's derby, then train with Ireland on Thursday ahead of another derby, away to Bohemians.

"It was fantastic for Graham to come on for Ireland on Sunday. It's a great achievement for Graham and I thought he did really well too," says Rovers boss Stephen Bradley.

"He's obviously a little bit heavy-legged with the games on Saturday and Sunday and the travelling. We'll just have to have a look at him today and see how he's feeling before we make any decisions."

Rovers can scarcely do without Burke for tonight's game, vital for the Hoops in their bid to stay in the race for European qualification. Already seven points behind Pat's, Bradley's outfit cannot afford to fall further behind, but Bradley is confident things will turn for his side who have managed just one win in nine games.

"We'll definitely create chances and I think it's a matter of time before we go and put one in, and once we do hopefully it starts a little run for us," he stated.

"St Pat's are doing really well, they've won their last few games. I watched them last week against Derry and they were good. They're coming full of confidence but it's a challenge we're really looking forward to. I'd imagine with the run they're on they'll look to try and play and win the game so we'll be ready for that."

Pat's boss Liam Buckley will look for a repeat of the clubs' last meeting, a 2-0 win.

"We've recently played Rovers in Richmond and came out of the game with three points, so we know what to expect from them. It will be another really tight game," he said.

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