Monday 16 September 2019

Bradley confident Rovers have right qualities to pass Cypriot challenge

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley. Photo: Sportsfile
Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

In a season of promise, Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley is confident his side can take another step forward in a challenging Europa League tie with Apollon Limassol.

Bradley has overseen an improvement in the Hoops this term while also managing a steady turnover of players.

Trevor Clarke is out of the game and has probably played his last game for the club after travelling to Rotherham to undergo a medical.

With first-choice left-back Sean Kavanagh tied down to a long-term deal and Neil Farrugia signed from UCD, Rovers are well stocked on the left side. The €120,000, or so, they bank from the transfer helps to balance the books, too.

Last Thursday's win over SK Brann guaranteed a €500,000 return from Europe and they will collect another €280,000 if they make it past a strong Cypriot side. Bradley is bullish.

Quality

"They are clear favourites and we know that," he said ahead of tonight's home leg. "But we've got the quality to win any game. There are going to be times when we are going to have to defend. But we can hurt them

"It's going to be a really difficult ask over the two legs but we've watched a lot of them and I believe we can win it over two legs. That's because of the way we play and the good players we have."

Jack Byrne is the headline-grabber, yet he is supported by an array of talented midfielders who are comfortable on the ball.

Aaron McEneff, a winter recruit from Derry, is on board with the manager's philosophy. He came back from injury to make an impact off the bench in both Brann games.

"With the style we play, those are the games you like to play in," says McEneff. "They move the ball really well from what we've seen and they qualified for the group stages last year. They beat Lazio and finished ahead of Marseille, so that speaks for itself."

Irish Independent

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