The ticket allocation for away supporters in Dalymount Park is SOLD OUT. Coverage of the Dublin Derby is on LOITV.

You mentioned after the Galway United game last Friday that you felt we were “off” in the final third of the pitch. That wasn’t the case on Monday against Drogheda United with the 4-0 victory.

“We knew where we needed to improve off the back of Galway and to be fair to the players, we did that really well against Drogheda. Our all-round game was really good, I don’t think Drogheda had an effort on goal which was really pleasing as we know they can be dangerous. Our all-round game was good and we were ruthless in the final third which was nice.”

Josh Honohan scored his first league goal for Rovers on Monday. You stated when you signed him that he has a high ceiling and you felt he could play in a few positions. He’s certainly shown that already this season, you must be delighted with him so far.

“We’re delighted with Josh’s progress. More importantly, we’re delighted with the type of character he is. He has the mindset of wanting to improve every day, in every aspect and that’s been really pleasing to see. He’s started well for the club, but there’s still a long way to go and a lot of development to go in him. But while he’s shown his versatility this year already, there’s still a lot of improvement to come from Josh.”

Three more young Hoops made their league debut against Drogheda; Cory O’Sullivan, John O’Sullivan and Max Kovalevskis. None of them looked like debutants the way they slotted seamlessly into the style of play we see every week. Other than their natural football intelligence, is that also a testament to the coaches who’ve overseen their development?

“There’s so much that goes into getting these players to this stage. So many people that have a hand in it, from family members to coaches along the way, people who have mentored them along the way. So there are so many people who have a hand in young players firstly making their debut and then having a senior career. It’s never down to one person, so a lot of people need to take the credit for that. As I said after the Drogheda game, it’s up to us now to find the right times to put them in and take them out, but I think we saw that all three, plus Matt Britton, Cian Barrett and Cian Dillon who’ve all made debuts that they’re ready to play which is great to see. Unfortunately, young Max picked up a knock that will keep him out for a few weeks, as it has with Cian Dillon which is why he hasn’t been involved recently.  The others need to keep working hard but they’re in a good place right now.”

It’s another Dublin derby this weekend, our first visit of the season to Dalymount Park. Our second-half performance against Bohs five weeks ago swept them aside, we’ll need to be on it from the first whistle in their backyard.

“Yes, we will. We need to make sure we concentrate. I spoke after the Drogheda game, about the last game in Dalymount when we were 2-0 up, but ended up drawing 2-2 out of nowhere really. So we know we need to focus, we know what a Dublin Derby brings as we’ve played in enough of them. So we need to be ready for that and impose ourselves on the game and try to win the game.”

That 3-1 win for us recently against Bohs was new manager Alan Reynolds’s first game in charge. Safe to say they’ll be a different proposition than the Good Friday match. Where do you see their strengths and dangers that could trouble us?

“The thing Bohs have always had is, in the last few years, you look at their wide players, they have pace and are dangerous in transition. So you have to respect that and be ready for it. They’ve shown since Alan went in, and even before that, they’re very dangerous in that aspect so we have to be ready for that.”

It was unfortunate to see Richie limp off early against Drogheda on Monday. What’s the update on Richie and the other lads on the injured list?

“Richie’s not too bad. His scan was all clear which is really good, it’s just really inflamed but he’ll be fine, I think maybe ten days to two weeks. All going well today at training we should have Markus Poom, Seán Hoare, Jack Byrne and Neil Farrugia available. With Graham Burke, if it was a different stage of the season, we would push him but this is not one we will push, we’ll take our time with Graham and we’ll see for Monday but again if we don’t feel it’s right we won’t push him. So it’s a matter of patience with Graham. Lee Grace and Gary O’Neill are longer-term ones, I think we’ll see Aaron McEneff fairly soon. Rory Gaffney didn’t feel right against Galway, he’s had an Achilles problem and it flared up. We’ll check on Rory at training and see how he is, but again we’re so early in the season, we won’t take any risk with Rory and we’ll see how he is after training.”