Trevor Clarke: ‘The main thing for me is blocking out the negativity and focusing on myself’

Additional reporting from Luke Jordan

Shamrock Rovers’ Trevor Clarke spoke about his time in the UK, his goals in the President’s Cup and former manager Joey Barton last Friday.

The champions regained the President’s cup with a 3-1 win against their South Dublin rivals. A brace from Trevor Clarke and a goal from Josh Honohan was enough to see off the Athletic on the night.

After the match, Clarke spoke to the media and when asked about the team’s performance, the Rovers player stated the Hoops had to be patient and stick to the game plan.  

“Obviously, there was no goals in the first half but it showed when you stick together as a team and know what you’re doing and keep creating those chances, you know the goals are going to come. 

“There can be a goal in the first minute, the 10th minute or 90th minute but we know if we stick to our gameplan, the goals will come.”

Clarke opened the scoring after he was sprung from the bench by manager Stephen Bradley. It took the Clondalkin man nine minutes to make his impact on the game. 

“Conan (Noonan) played a lovely ball into me, it was a nice bit of play before the goal” said Clarke. 

“I saw the keeper coming out and it was the only place I could stick it so it was either hit it in the top corner or over the bar so I was delighted with it in the end.”

When asked about whether he was surprised that St. Pats sat deep throughout the game, the Hoops player admitted that he doesn’t focus much on the opposition, but rather focus on themselves. 

"Not really, no. Personally I don't really focus on the opposition. I think we go into games, no matter who we come up against, whether it's Pat's or Bohs or whoever, our main thing is to just focus on ourselves. Just keep doing what we do and we know we can win the game.”

After spending last season on loan back at Rovers, Clarke officially returned to the Tallaght side signing a permanent deal last month. 

It was a frustrating two years for the Dubliner away in England where he suffered injury setbacks that curtailed his progress abroad.

When questioned about his spell in England, specifically at the end of his time there he responded, “I went to Rotherham, and I had a couple of injuries along the way, I got injured on the first day I was there. I went to Bristol and got injured in the first game of the season.

“It was either stick around over there in League One or League Two or come back to the league champions, play in Europe and be close to my family and that was one of the main things.”

When at Bristol Rovers, Joey Barton who was manager at that time, delivered harsh criticism of the Clondalkin man stating it was a mistake to extend Clarke’s contract at the club. On Barton’s comments, Clarke brushed it off.  

“No matter where you are in football and who you play for, no matter what club you’re at, everybody is going to make comments whether it’s fans or whoever it is.” Clarke explained.

“As a player you have to deal with it and get on with it. The way I do it mentally is that I don’t pay attention to it, I know what I can do on the pitch and how dangerous I am. 

“The main thing for me is blocking out the negativity and focusing on myself.”

Shamrock Rovers face Dundalk in the league opener on Friday night, and manager Stephen Bradley is backing one player to have a big impact on the team this season.