Stephen Bradley believes Shamrock Rovers made a 'mistake' with last season’s preparations

Luke Jordan reporting from Tallaght Stadium. 

The Rovers boss spoke to the press after their impressive victory in the President’s Cup on Friday night. 

Stephen Bradley had viewed the President’s Cup as an important match but stated it was another friendly for players to get minutes ahead of the league kick off next weekend. 

However, the 39-year-old coach would have been delighted with what he saw on Friday night after his side dominated a St. Patrick’s Athletic side many had tipped to challenge Rovers for their crown. 

A Trevor Clarke brace and Josh Honohan header saw off Pats as they regained the President’s Cup with a 3-1 victory in front of a record crowd in Tallaght Stadium. 

After the game, Bradley was happy with his side, believing they are ready physically for the opening day fixture against Dundalk. 

“Yeah, in this game, win or lose, you're always looking to assess are you ready mentally and physically for next week and I felt we were. We're in a good place.”

When asked whether they had done anything different this pre-season compared to previous years, Bradley admitted it was a mistake not to give his side more time off last season. 

The Dubliner this season rectified the problem, allowing his players an extended period off post season to recharge fully for the new season ahead. 

“We've given them a longer break than they've ever had. I think last year mental fatigue set in. We played the most amount of games in a short space of time and then only had three weeks off. 

“I felt that caught us at some points throughout last year. They're not a group to down tools or don't try but if you're reviewing yourself, I felt it was a mistake by me not to give them enough time off last year, so pre-season just gone we've given them seven weeks which is a long break. They haven't had that for some time, so they've come back fresh. 

“We've also tweaked certain things at the start, Eoin (Donnelly) needs to take credit for that. I felt last year looking through the games, some the goals we conceded, some of the sending offs we had and just the decisions we made, was down to the pressure of four (titles) and then mental fatigue. 

“We could fix both of them by winning the league and making sure we got a good break”.