Bradley says Rovers still have work to do to see off dangerous SK Brann
Hoops have established a useful platform following a 2-2 draw in first leg in Norway
Stephen Bradley: “We still have to go and win this game. There’s no other way of approaching it and they’ll obviously think the same.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Stephen Bradley has decisions to make as Shamrock Rovers seek to capitalise on the narrow advantage their two away goals have given them over SK Brann ahead of this evening’s second leg of their Europa League qualifier this evening in Tallaght.
Despite having secured a 2-2 draw, the Dubliner believes that his side can improve on last Thursday’s performance but he must make the call on whether to make changes with Aaron McEneff’s return to fitness probably presenting the manager’s most obvious dilemma.
“It was great to get Aaron back on the pitch,” he says. “It’s been a long injury and we’ve missed him; he was doing so well for us and any team would. Thankfully he came away from the game with no issues and he’s trained all week. Neil Farrugia is the only injury, he’s still a little bit away.”
Dylan Watts also came on last week and will feel he is in contention for a start too while Bradley might even weigh up replacing Aaron Greene, who missed a good chance to score himself in Norway, with Graham Cummins but it will be hard to shake things up to dramatically after his side secured a result that ultimately put them in a pretty decent position.
Unsurprisingly, though, Bradley remains cautious.
“It doesn’t matter to us if people look at us as favourites now,” he says.
“What we have to understand is that we’re playing a very good side. It’s going to be a difficult game but I said before the first leg it’s a tie that we fully believe we can win and nothing changes that.
“In general, our play on the night [last Thursday] deserved at least a draw,” he added. “I just felt at times, though, that parts of our performance could have been slightly better and hopefully tomorrow night we can be.
“We still have to go and win this game. There’s no other way of approaching it and they’ll obviously think the same. You can’t sit in against a team like this. If you do that you’re asking for trouble and you’re going to get punished.
“Attacking wise they have some dangerous players and I’m sure they’ll change their team again tomorrow night and the players they bring in will be just as strong. You have to respect that they’re a good side, they will create chances and we have to be ready for that but we’ll go to win the game like we did last week.”