Sunday 19 January 2020

Bradley dismisses sack fears after dismal week

Shamrock Rovers head coach Stephen Bradley. Photo: Sportsfile
Shamrock Rovers head coach Stephen Bradley. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Under-pressure Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley says he is not concerned about losing his job, but acknowledged that a poor run of results has put the spotlight on players and management.

The Hoops followed up Friday's derby defeat to Bohemians with a 1-0 reverse to bottom side Bray on Monday with the Seagulls gaining their first win of the season courtesy of an error from Rovers captain Ronan Finn.

It means Bradley's side have lost six out of their opening 12 matches, including five out of the six matches they've played on their travels.

When asked if he would be given time to execute the task that he was brought in to do, Bradley initially said: "Time will tell on that, I know I am at a big club and you have to win games. I get that. I have understood that from the start.

"I believe in the project and what we are doing but that still doesn't excuse losing three games in a row. It's not acceptable, we don't use that as a fall-back or an excuse. It doesn't give me any leeway to say it's ok to lose three games, not good enough."

However, when he was later asked more directly if he was concerned about his own position, Bradley said: "No, not at all."

"I am fully confident in this group and what we are building as a group. We're not a million miles away. Right now we are going through a rough patch, but what do you do? Do you walk away from it or stand up as a group and say, 'Right, let's go.'

"We deserve every bit of criticism we get. The players, myself. When you are at Shamrock Rovers and you lose three games in a row, it's not good enough, not acceptable. We know that. We asked for a reaction from Friday, where we were really poor in every department, and I think we got that in Bray. The goal was so sloppy, and I don't think they had another shot."

That view was slightly contradicted by his praise for young goalkeeper Kevin Horgan who bounced back from some rough evenings to make a couple of quality saves in Bray. Bradley admitted Finn fell short of his standards with the sloppy backpass that allowed Ronan Coughlan in for the winner.

"We need to cut out the silly errors. He knows he's made the mistake.

"A player of Ronan's level and standing, he doesn't make mistakes like that but he did on Monday. Right now, those things are going against us. We're shooting ourselves in the foot."

Meanwhile, St Patrick's Athletic manager Liam Buckley has voiced his concerns about the hectic fixture schedule that all clubs are going through at the moment.

The 36-game season is weighted heavily towards the first half with midweek rounds keeping players and staff busy.

Buckley's charges are due to play five Premier Division matches in the space of 13 days next month and they are not alone in that camp.

"It's madness but we have to get on with it," said Buckley. "For me, it just needs to be spread out a bit more evenly."

He was speaking after Monday's 1-0 win over Waterford where young midfielder Jamie Lennon shone again. "He's a top player and will get a career out of it, that's for sure," said Buckley.

Irish Independent

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