Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Bradley not fooled by Derry CIty's 'false start' ahead of Brandywell trip

SHAMROCK ROVERS boss Stephen Bradley believes Derry City’s losing start to the season ‘doesn’t tell the full story’ and he’s expecting a tough test at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium tonight.

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley
Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley

The Dubliner, who was at Richmond Park to watch Derry’s 2-0 defeat to St Pat’s on Friday night, reckons the Candy Stripes’ results from their opening three matches have been ‘a little false’.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” he said. “I think the results don’t tell the full story. I watched their game against Waterford and in my opinion they were the better team. They created a lot of good chances. I was at the game against St Pat’s on Friday and right up until the sending off there was very little in the game and Derry actually had the better chances before the sending off, which completely changed the game. They were playing well so I think the results can be a little false. I’ve no doubt that they’ll be ready to go and try and win the game against us so we’ve got to be ready for that.”

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Rovers have enjoyed a lot of success at the Brandywell in recent years, winning on each of the last four visits and Bradley admits the big surface suits his team’s playing style.

“We like the pitch. It’s a big pitch and we enjoy that type of surface and the spaces that are on it. It’s a difficult game but we look forward to going and playing on it.”

Travelling to Derry just three days after the 1-1 draw with Sligo will require Bradley to make full use of his squad but he has no complaints with the busy schedule.

“It’s great that we have a game midweek in quick succession but it’s important that the squad is ready because we’re going to need every player between now and the end of the season to be competitive in all competitions. So using the squad is going to be really important.”

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Rovers needed a late equaliser against Sligo after a rare howler from keeper Alan Mannus who let Walter Figueira’s shot slip between his hands but Bradley felt his team deserved more.

“I felt we should have won. You take a draw with them taking the lead with so little left on the clock but when you look at our chances we definitely should have won.”