Cronin happy with performance despite defeat
Gary Cronin's eyes flicker green when he sees match-day team sheets. Against Shamrock Rovers on Friday, Cronin shared a bench with seven men that are as of yet unable to legally buy alcohol. Stephen Bradley had the likes of Aaron Greene, Gary Shaw, Sam Bone and Aaron Bolger waiting in the wings.
Despite the vast difference in depth, the Seagulls troubled Shamrock Rovers and can feel hard done by to lose 0-3 as they edged closer to the second tier.
Cronin was generally happy with the performance of his side but he is under no illusions when it comes to the gulf in squad options.
"Rovers were the better side overall. For an hour - a match is longer than an hour unfortunately - but for an hour we were really good. In the first half, we went in 0-1 down at half-time but our performance was really good. Some of the football we played was excellent at times and it shows that when you create opportunities in the opposition half and we'd two or three great chances. Unfortunately we didn't get the goal because it would've been nice to put Rovers under that pressure but we shot ourselves in the foot by giving a poor goal away.
"I get envious when I read the benches of the opposition! That's no disrespect to the young lads we have - they've been fantastic and they've really good careers ahead of them but I knew that when I took over. This is the group I have and as long as we have a good togetherness, we'll give ourselves a chance in games. "
A season-high crowd of 1,798 attended the fixture and Cronin hopes to provide enough entertainment on the field to keep those bums on seats.
"It was the biggest crowd I've seen. Obviously a lot of those were from Rovers but it creates a great atmosphere and we're trying to do things and play a certain way to make it as enjoyable for the people that come to watch us as we can. But we need to find the balance of being enjoyable and nice to watch versus getting results and goals."
With Bray's status as a Premier Division side hanging by a thread, Cronin could be forgiven for preparing early for life in the First Division and getting in the ear of key players about re-committing but talks are on hold for now.
"We're engrossed at the moment in just preparing for the next game and getting results and that's where we are. Those conversations will be had over the coming weeks."