The away allocation for Friday night’s match in Richmond Park is SOLD OUT. The match will be shown live on LOITV.

You were unhappy with the team’s performance in the first 60 minutes on Friday. Watching it back, could you put your finger on our slow start to the game?

We’ve reviewed the game. I said 60 minutes, but it was probably the first half. When you watch it back it’s quite clear to see that we weren’t at our normal levels in the first half and we know the reasons for that. We’ve had a chat and discussed it and obviously, the plan is that it doesn’t happen again. It’s always good when you can get a little lesson out of that and come away from the game having picked up points from it as well.

The first goal is extremely unfortunate from Graham but the second, to be fair is it a really good counter-attacking move and finish from Shels?

The first one is unlucky. Graham does that job really, really well for us. He makes a mistake which can happen and that’s fine. We learn from that. And the second, we know every team plays in that way, so we know, and we train for that a lot, so we’re really disappointed that we haven’t dealt with it. It’s a good bit of skill from Jack Moylan, but I think we’ve got three opportunities to deal with it, and we don’t. We’re disappointed with both goals

Graham made up for his mistake with a superb long-range strike and then Pico headed in the equaliser. Were you pleased with our immediate response and how we very nearly won it in the end with some good chances?

We’re delighted with how we responded but I don’t think that can ever be questioned with this team in terms of their character and their drive and the hunger to win. They always feel like they can win a game because they never stop. They always believe that we can go and win games and we’ve obviously worked extremely hard over the years to build that resilience and that’s all credit to the players. As I said, they possibly could have and should have won the game in the second half.

Considering a lot of teams are taking points off each other in the top half at the moment, did the group look at it as not the worst result, and a point gained after not playing to our best?

We’ll look at that at the end of the season but it’s always a positive when you can come away from a game where you haven’t been at your level for 90 minutes and you’re still taking points out of the game. So that’s always positive and over the course of the season, you’re going to get moments where you’re not at your levels and it was just frustrating because we’ve been very, very good. Over the course of the season, we know that you get those nights and we had that on Friday for 45-50 minutes. We will refocus, learn from it and move on and get ready for another really good game.

Rory Gaffney had to come off after about an hour. What was his injury and how he is looking?

Rory has a knock on his hamstring. It’s not too serious but he won’t be available for the Pats game.

Trevor Clarke and Sean Gannon weren’t involved on Friday. Are they OK and is anyone else a doubt for Pat’s?

We have a couple of doubts. Sean Gannon is one of them that has a knock, we will need to check on him. Trevor had a knock but he’s back. 

St Pat’s have won all four of their games since they snatched a late draw in Tallaght. Rovers have a great record at Richmond Park in recent times but is this a tricky time to play them with their momentum?

No look, it’s a Dublin derby, we’ve always thought that Pats have good individuals and that remains the case. We know it’s a tough game, they’re doing well but we’re doing really well as well so that will make it a good game. It’s one we’re looking forward to  and one we’re ready for.

We have sold out our 1,150 allocation. Does the proximity to the fans almost always result in a lively atmosphere at Pat’s and Rovers games in Inchicore, especially when both clubs are at the top end of the table?

Sold out grounds always add to it. It’s two good teams in a Dublin derby, it has the makings to be a really good game.