| 15.1°C Dublin

Stephen Bradley admits Ferencvaros ‘as good as anyone we've played in Europe’ after Shamrock Rovers’ heavy defeat in Budapest

Europa Conference League group stages now beckon for Hoops after 4-0 defeat to Hungarians

Close

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley after the Europa League play-off first leg between Ferencvaros and Shamrock Rovers at Groupama Arena in Budapest, Hungary. Photo by Alex Nicodim/Sportsfile

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley after the Europa League play-off first leg between Ferencvaros and Shamrock Rovers at Groupama Arena in Budapest, Hungary. Photo by Alex Nicodim/Sportsfile

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley after the Europa League play-off first leg between Ferencvaros and Shamrock Rovers at Groupama Arena in Budapest, Hungary. Photo by Alex Nicodim/Sportsfile

Stephen Bradley accepted that Shamrock Rovers' hopes of Europa League football are dead after a drubbing in Hungary.

The Hoops were picked apart by a Ferencvaros side who scored twice in each half, with an injury time effort killing any hope of a Rovers revival in Tallaght next Thursday.

Rovers launched a rally against Ludogorets from three behind in the Champions League, but Bradley conceded that the League of Ireland champions will be concentrating on Conference League football for the remainder of their European season - the third tier competition was his group's original target.

Rovers were understrength but Bradley was reluctant to lean on that as an excuse, instead pointing to costly individual mistakes against a high quality opponent who he declared as 'right up there' with the AC Milan side who knocked them out of Europe two years ago.

He said his players were not too distraught in the aftermath, instead vowing to learn from the exercise.

"The players are fine, sometimes it happens, sometimes you’re just a little bit off. We know we’ve made some basic errors.

"As a team you win and you lose together. We need to learn from it and understand that we are against a very good team tonight. They were very good in the attacking part of the pitch and they punished us when they got their chances. They are probably as good as anyone we've played in Europe."

Rovers were due to fly back to Shannon after the game and will manage their workload carefully ahead of Sunday's top two league meeting with Dundalk in Tallaght.

Bradley made five second half subs and admitted the game was in his mind although he was reluctant to declare it was the bigger match of the two with the club's broader ambitions in mind - champions status is what has given the Hoops a backdoor route to a longer European season.

“It’s easy to say that now when the game is over," said Bradley.

The Halfway Line Newsletter

Get the lowdown on the Irish football scene with our soccer correspondent Daniel McDonnell and expert team of writers with our free weekly newsletter.

This field is required

"But we know how important it is, Dundalk are obviously our closest rivals at the moment. We’ll be ready for it.

"We’ll recover and do bits late tomorrow (Friday) and then we’ll train Saturday morning."

Ferencvaros coach Stanislav Cherchesov declared his side's performance as 'not bad.'

They have the weekend off to prepare for the second leg.


Most Watched





Privacy