Stephen Bradley Reflects on Rovers’ First Leg v Bratislava

Shamrock Rovers

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Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley analysed his side’s recent performance against Slovan Bratislava in the Champions League ahead of their second leg on Tuesday at 8 pm.

His side conceded twice in Slovakia and failed to provide a threat to their opposition in the final third.

Rovers boss Bradley believes were lucky not to concede more to the Belasí last week and hopes his side will be much more solid in the second leg.

“Ultimately Alan [Mannus] has kept us in the game with the save at the end. Overall, we gave away two poor goals from our point of view, and we know we’re better than what we showed over there and there’s more to come from us,” said Bradley.

Bradley praised goalkeeper Alan Mannus for his performance in Rovers’ first European game of the season.

Mannus has been the standout goalkeeper in Ireland since his return to the League of Ireland side in 2018.

His displays have helped Rovers to a league title and several European runs.

“Alan has done that over the years, he makes really important saves and he’s the best keeper in the country. In big-game scenarios, Alan makes important saves. It was fantastic and it keeps us in the tie.”

Bradley felt that his side lost concentration at key moments in the game and will rue missed chances.

Both goals came after stoppages in play, a water break and at half-time, with the head coach putting them down to dips in concentration after the breaks in play.

He feels that the side was wasteful when trying to get an away goal and feels that they let themselves down on the night.

“We were a bit wasteful in the final third but just in general, in every aspect, we know we can be better. There’s no getting away from Slovan being a good side and obviously the conditions but we know we can be better.”

However, his team are experienced in Europe and players like Mannus have played in Europe multiple times throughout their career.

The side understands what European ties mean and what is needed to win them and Bradley added that they need to show that experience in the return fixture.

The return of fans will be an added bonus for the side as they seek to overturn the deficit, with 1,500 locals in attendance at Tallaght.

We’ve had difficult games in Tallaght before. We’ve had special nights in Tallaght before and hopefully this is another one. We have 1,500 fans in and I’m sure that will feel and sound like a lot more. European nights in Tallaght are always special and so hopefully it’s another one on Tuesday.”

Shamrock Rovers’ UEFA Champions League First Qualifying Round Second Leg kicks off at 8 pm in Tallaght and will be available to watch exclusively on LOI TV.

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