Friday night’s match in Tallaght is nearing a sell-out. Secure one of the final few tickets here. The match will be televised on RTE2, coverage starting at 7.35 pm

Two weeks on from our last game, the 1-0 win away to Galway, despite possibly giving us some momentum, were you happy enough to take the international break on this occasion given our injury-hit early part of the season?

“Yes, I’ve always said I like that this team plays regular games, but considering where we were with the knocks, I think the break came at a good time to allow us to get a couple of bodies back. We were able to train and have a good week.”

Since the Galway game, is it a case of just ticking over for two weeks with some 90-minute practice games and easing injured lads back into match-ready action?

“We had a couple away with internationals, a few with knocks, so it’s a case of getting the balance right in terms of giving players time away but working hard too, but making sure we don’t come off too much what our loads have been the past few weeks and what they’ll be the next few weeks. It’s about trying to manage that and Eoin Donnelly, our fitness coach, does a really good job with that. He gives us really good information, then it’s up to us to plan around that. So it’s about getting the work but getting the rest too.”

You stated a few weeks back you’d felt sorry for Leon Pohls in not having clean sheets in the first three games, so you must be delighted he had two consecutive ones in Sligo and Galway and he ended the latter match with a commanding catch from an injury time corner to huge acclaim from the players and fans.

“What we see with Leon is growth. His attitude has been brilliant, we know the ability he has, but it takes more than that to play for this team and this club. You can see Leon is growing with every game, the fact he comes for that cross late on against Galway, so commanding, shows where his growth has been and where it’s going. We genuinely believe he has a high ceiling, we’ve seen him work closely the last three years with Jose (Rovers goalkeeping coach) and Alan Mannus when he was here, so we’ve seen both mental and physical growth with Leon. We know he’s still a young keeper and he’ll make mistakes, we’re ok with that and accept that, but we feel he’ll earn us more points than he won’t. He’s started ok but there’s so much more to come from him.”

There was no break for Pico Lopes or Markus Poom who again represented Cape Verde and Estonia respectively in the international window. Despite injury risks, does this still reflect really well on our stature in both Ireland and beyond and did both lads get back fit and well?

“It’s great for the club any time we have players representing their country. It’s an honour and we should be really proud of that as a club. It shows where we are when they’re playing at the very highest level, they’re up against some top-class opposition. With Pico he’s coming off an incredible AFCON tournament, Markus played against Sweden and Belgium on his recent international break, some of the best players in the world, so that can only help us. They pick up little ideas, little tweaks, that can help us when they come back which is great. Pico came back fine on Tuesday night, and Markus only came back Thursday night and has a slight knock, hopefully, it’s not too bad. But that’s the joy of having international players, they go away, play games and run the risk of getting injured, but you can’t have it every way.”

So to the big Dublin derby this weekend, Alan Reynolds has been appointed this week as Bohs’ new manager, can you expect a new manager “bounce” ?

“They did well in their last match by winning against Derry, what hasn’t changed is they have some very good players in the attacking part of the pitch. Whether it’s Keith Long, Declan Devine or Alan Reynolds, that hasn’t changed. We’ll be set up and ready to respect what Bohs bring, but our aim as always will be to impose ourselves on the game as soon as possible. That won’t change tomorrow regardless of who their manager is.”

The game is practically a sell-out, the first of the fully equipped four stands at Tallaght Stadium and will see a new record league attendance at the venue. Will this add to the team’s adrenaline and armour to see and hear such huge home support?

“The good thing is our players have built up a really good understanding of how to play big games in front of big crowds. That can only help you as a player, sharpen your focus and attention which is a good thing. It can give you that nervous energy which is also a good thing. It’s a proud moment for everyone involved with this club, we’ll have Tallaght Stadium sold out for this game, when you think back to all the fights and struggles throughout the years and now you look to this game, so many people connected to this club need to take credit for that. They should watch tomorrow night and be extremely proud of what they helped build and achieve.”

What’s the injury update for the group for the weekend?

“Neil Farrugia, Seán Kavanagh and Aaron McEneff are still a few weeks away. We have a few knocks to check today after training like Markus as I said earlier,  but Gary O’Neill is back which is good.”