Rovers manager believes Caulfield could have been given more time at Cork

Stephen Bradley wary of the talent Cork have in their ranks as they visit Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley is surprised he won't see the familiar face of John Caulfield in the away dugout at Tallaght Stadium on Friday night.

Bradley believes ex-Cork City boss Caulfield, who parted company with the club at the start of the month, deserved more of a chance to turn fortunes around at Turner's Cross given what he had done for the club.

“I was surprised by that. I thought he could have been given more time,” said Bradley of Caulfield’s departure.

“I thought he earned that for what he had done over the years there. We know football can be very fickle, and things change quickly, but I thought what John had done since he went in, and over the four or five seasons, had been brilliant.

“He had them up there every year, winning leagues and cups. Yes, they had a bad start, but I was surprised to see him go so quickly.”

Despite their poor start to the season, Bradley remains wary of the talent Cork have in their ranks. I think people forget a lot of that team won the double not so long ago,” said Bradley. “They’ve shown they’re good enough to go anywhere in the country and win a game. We’ve got to be ready for the best Cork that’s there and respect that.”

Still out

Injured midfielders Aaron McEneff, Sean Kavanagh and Sam Bone remain out for Rovers.

Cork wait on captain Karl Sheppard, who came off with a knock late on in Monday's 1-0 win at UCD. Defender Dan Casey and midfielder Gearóid Morrissey also need to prove their fitness, though Cian Murphy is still out.

Narrowly ahead of Rovers on goal difference at the top of the table, Dundalk face St Patrick's Athletic at Oriel Park in Friday night's other top game.

Head coach Vinny Perth has John Mountney back from suspension, but continues without injured midfielders Robbie Benson and Jamie McGrath. Winger Daniel Kelly faces a fitness check.

Lee Desmond, Conor Clifford and Dean Clarke remain out injured for St Patrick's.