Stephen Bradley says he and his players completely understand the frustration Shamrock Rovers supporters feel over the club’s remarkably poor recent record against cross city rivals Bohemians.
Heading into the fourth league encounter between the two sides this season, the Tallaght outfit are without a win in eight of the derby games and tonight’s hosts would be comfortably top of the table if they had won rather than lost the previous three this season.
“I totally get it,” says Bradley. “I got I as a player here. I get what it means to the fans and what it means to the club. That’s what it means to the players. What the fans feel is what we feel as well. We need to try to put the recent record right.
“We have a chance to do that in this game. I genuinely believe that we couldn’t be in better shape going into it. The squad is in great shape, we’re playing well, we’re scoring goals and conceding very few.”
Dylan Watts is a doubt after taking a knock to the head in Tuesday’s win over Waterford while Joey O’Brien is more likely to return from injury than Neil Farrugia.
For Bohemians, whose FAI Cup quarter-final against Crumlin United has been confirmed for September 16th due to their involvement in the Scottish Challenge Cup, Conor Levingston and Keith Ward return while Dinny Corcoran, who has scored a couple of key goals for them in these games, is out.
Rovers are likely to need to beat their rivals in order to keep the gap between themselves and league leaders Dundalk to just four points as Vinny Perth’s side head to Belfield and another game against UCD who they beat 3-0 in a rescheduled fixture on Monday.
John Mountney is ruled out of the game due to an ankle injury while Andy Boyle is rated as doubtful with a hamstring strain but the champions are at full strength otherwise as they look to extend their unbeaten run of the league games to 19 games.