This match is sold out. Coverage on RTE2, kick off 7.45pm

To go to a ground in Derry where Rovers hadn’t won in a while and play extremely well and be that dominant, especially first half, must have been very pleasing?

“It was because it’s a difficult place to go, especially off the back of a Friday night game and I think the players were excellent. We dominated the first half, and the second half was just about managing the game and containing them, and we did that really well. On a difficult pitch as well, so I thought the players were excellent.”

You called Richie Towell’s finish potentially the goal of the season, did it just have everything you want in a team goal?

“It was excellent, it was everything that we work for and try and work on. We don’t plan for the ball to be in the air as much as it was but it was really, really good. The timing, the quality of our play and the movement off the ball. I definitely think it’ll be up there for one of the goals of the season, for sure.”

And after Maher’s decision to come out and clear the ball did it fall to exactly the right man from distance in Jack Byrne?

“Yes, I think the way he was playing and the way he has been playing, Jack, you probably wouldn’t want it to fall to anyone else on the pitch. It’s a great finish. He didn’t think twice about it, he just went and hit it and I think that probably summed up where he was at that moment in time. He was in his flow and he just hit it.”

Was the second half a different type of performance to see the game out and Derry seemed restricted to little in the way of chances?

“It’s obviously off the back of Friday, with the travel and it being a difficult game, so we knew the second half was going to be about containing them and limiting the opportunities we gave them. We did that really well.”

You could tell by the players’ reaction to Leon’s penalty save what it meant, especially with so much stoppage time still to come, and he must have been buzzing after as well?

“It’s a difficult one when you’re second choice goalkeeper to someone like Alan. Leon has had to be patient and the players see the work that he does behind the scenes. He was very good in the game and he obviously makes that save. It was important, not just for Leon but for the players and the group. Because we’d been so dominant in the game and the last 9 or 10 minutes would have been a different game, but thankfully, he saved it and we saw the game out comfortably then.”

Did the X-ray come back on Alan Mannus’ finger injury and how long is it looking like?

“Alan won’t be available Friday and he’ll be out for a few weeks. We’re hoping it settles down quickly but he’ll be missing a few weeks.”

Ronan Finn did really well in his first start of the season in Derry and we also had Rory Gaffney and Simon Power back on the bench. Who else is back for Friday and who is missing?

“Ronan was excellent and it was good to have Rory and Simon back. We’re hoping for Friday for Liam, he’s not too far away. Sean Kavanagh and Sean Gannon are probably next week and Dylan Watts will be a little bit longer; 2 or 3 weeks. There’s a couple of new knocks off the back of that pitch that we’ll have to check on but nothing major, other than Alan, and there’s no suspensions.”

Bohs have stayed at the top since our last meeting, beating Cork on Monday plus a couple of good away victories. What are the strengths that have them doing well this season?

“They’re obviously having a good season. They’ve been good in front of goal. They have really dangerous attacking players and we knew that before the last time we played them and nothing has changed. We’ve got to respect them and try and impose ourselves on them as quickly as possible, and take control of the game.”

The crowd were behind the team in Derry on Monday and will starting the game strongly be important in Tallaght to set the tempo and get the fans involved again against Bohs?

“You always want to start the game well but the game is 90+ minutes so it’s about focusing for that 90+. And when we get our period of controlling the game whether that’s the first minute or the 70th minute, whatever it is we’ve got to make it count. We did that in Dalymount and that’ll be the aim again on Friday.”

A full house, a derby with both teams high in the table. Is it one that doesn’t need much motivation for anyone in the dressing room?

“It’ll probably sound boring but we don’t need any extra motivation for any game. Obviously, with derbies, you don’t need to speak about what it means to everyone around it, fans and everything that’s connected to it. The players understand that every game is important but we know that Dublin derbies are really important to everyone connected with the club.”