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Dublin: 8°C Tuesday 27 October 2020

'He's been giving out, he hasn't had anything to do in games. Tonight, he was massive for us'

Stephen Bradley praised Alan Mannus for his display in the win over Pat’s.

Stephen Bradley hailed Alan Mannus, pictured above, following his performance in the 1-0 win over St Pat's.
Stephen Bradley hailed Alan Mannus, pictured above, following his performance in the 1-0 win over St Pat's.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

SHAMROCK ROVERS BOSS Stephen Bradley expressed relief after seeing his table-topping side end a two-game streak losing at the expense of St Patrick’s Athletic on Monday night.

The Hoops were made to work hard by their Dublin rivals for a 1-0 win, and Bradley acknowledged the key part his goalkeeper played in the victory.

In the dying minutes, Pat’s substitute Dean Clarke was presented with a golden opportunity to equalise, but Alan Mannus got down well to deny him. And afterwards, Bradley paid tribute to the 34-year-old stopper.

“He’s been giving out, he hasn’t had anything to do in games. Tonight, he was massive for us, because we could easily have drawn the game.”

While Rovers deserved their narrow half-time lead, they found life increasingly difficult against a stubborn Pat’s side whose high press increasingly caused their opponents problems as the game wore on.

“I think most teams are pressing us high, but I thought in the first half, we dealt with it really well, we played around it. In the second half, we looked leggy, so we changed it. On the back of a tough week, it took away from our concentration in terms of trying to play out, so we went back to front, but I think teams will press us high, yeah.

“I think we have the players to beat the press and, once we beat it, we cause teams problems. We only have to beat it once to cause them problems and we did that a number of times in the first half. We did it at times against Dundalk. Bohs was a different game. Derry away was the same… So we’ll stick to it.”

In addition to being impressed with Mannus, Bradley also singled out 18-year-old midfielder Brandon Kavanagh for praise, after the youngster was handed a starting spot on the wing for Monday’s game. 

He’s a real talent, Brandon, we all know that. He’s had to be patient, because the people in front of him, Dylan [Watts], Jack [Byrne], have been so good. He came on the other night and I thought he was very good. He looked bright and I thought it was time to give him his [chance] tonight. I thought again, he was really good, tired a bit, but he was bright for the goal. He could have slashed it, but just set Ronan [Finn] up.

“We know what a talent we have there, but we just need to put him in at the right times and take him out at the right times.

“I think he’s better in the 10, to be honest, but he likes coming in on the left, because he sees the game, he sees through balls. But eventually, when he matures and really gets the game, I think he’ll be a 10.”

One player that Bradley was not happy with, however, was Dan Carr. The 25-year-old forward came off the bench in the second half and proceeded to miss a couple of decent chances to extend Rovers’ lead.

“I actually thought Dan was poor, to be honest. I think there’s so much more in him. He’s a top player, but I didn’t see it tonight. He needs to go back to what he’s good at. Dan is better than what he’s showing at the moment. Dundalk away, I thought he was just okay and tonight he was okay. He’s better than that.”

Gavan Casey and Murray Kinsella are joined by Andy Dunne to get stuck into last weekend’s Champions Cup semi-finals.:

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