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'People thought we would go and win the league... people need to cop on'

Shamrock Rovers had a big win in the Dublin Derby last night.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

SHAMROCK ROVERS MANAGER Stephen Bradley last night hit out at critics who claimed the Tallaght club should be competing for league honours alongside Cork City and Dundalk in the wake of his side’s impressive 2-0 victory over Bohemians.

It what could prove to be the final Dublin derby at Dalymount Park, goals from Brandon Miele and Trevor Clarke brought bragging rights back to the southside in a third derby victory of the season for the Hoops, which sees them rise to fifth place in the Premier Division while Bohs drop into the relegation zone.

Speaking after the game Bradley said that despite back-to-back wins against champions Dundalk and their city-rivals his side weren’t getting carried away and that previous claims that his side could challenge for the title were nonsensical.

“Some of the criticism is deserved, to be fair, because we have thrown away stupid games,” he said. “Some of (the criticism) is silly because we are a new group. People thought we would go and win the league, and as I was saying in pre-season people need to cop on.

“We’re only together four months and things like this take time, projects like this take time. People in the media were saying we should be up there with Cork and with Dundalk… crazy stuff — these teams have been together for years — madness.”

The 32-year-old acknowledged his side had come out on top in a fitting Dublin derby which could be the last to be staged in Dalymount Park as the stadium’s renovation draws closer. Tickets for the game sold out before kick-off as over 3,500 supporters packed the stands to witness the biggest domestic derby in Irish football.

“It was great in front of a full crowd”, said the Rovers manager.

“I was being told people were outside asking for tickets, it’s great to hear that for a League of Ireland game that it’s sold out. Our fans were unbelievable, they’ve been unbelievable to us all year, even when we have lost. The Bohs fans were good, there was a good atmosphere, goals — it was a proper Dublin Derby. The only thing that was missing was a sending off.”

With back-to-back wins the Hoops continue to bridge the gap between themselves and Bray Wanderers in second place, a goal Bradley has set out for his side. Despite being just five points behind Dundalk in a European place, the Shamrock Rovers manager said their next objective is to overtake Derry, who they face next week in Maginn Park.

“Our next goal is to beat the team in front of us and that’s Derry next week. If we beat them we’ll see where it takes us. If we can go up there and get on a run teams won’t like playing against us because we play with good energy, good legs and we are an attacking threat when we go forward.

“We’re not getting carried away because it’s two wins. Like we said at the start of the year, people need to cop on and understand what we are trying to do here and not get carried away when we lose a game or two.”

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