"Everyone wants to play in the derby" - Shamrock Rovers defender Robert Cornwall looks ahead to the Bohs clash

The centre-half discusses Rovers' exit from the Europa League and life under Stephen Bradley

Robert Cornwall

Image: ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Passion in the League of Ireland is all the more prevalent during a derby game and perhaps one of the biggest rivalries in Irish football is shared by Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers.

Their derby earlier in the season was marred by crowd trouble, but action on the pitch saw Rovers pick up an impressive 4-0 away win to bring the bragging rights back to Tallaght Stadium.

Rovers defender, Robert Cornwall, doesn't expect it to be as straightforward this time around.

"It’s always a big training week when you’re playing Bohs," he told Newstalk Sport. "For those derby games, everyone is thinking about it. It’s always in the back of your head. Everyone wants to get in the team.

"Everyone loves playing in a derby. The last time we played them we won 4-0 so it’s going to be even tougher this time."

Despite sitting fourth in the table, six points clear of nearest challengers Galway United, Cornwall lamented his side's inconsistencies but put it down to some teething problems in the squad.

"The season has going OK so far, we just need to find some consistency. It’s tough to find that consistency when you’re playing with such a young squad.

"It can be frustrating at times but it’s the only way to do it if you want to build and have a better team in the next couple of years. I think there is about six or seven of us under 24, so it’s a young side."

This may be the case, but such upheaval as a managerial change midway through the season is also sure to unsettle the players, following Pat Fenlon's departure on July 3rd. Stephen Bradley was appointed as interim boss in his absence and Cornwall says the switch hasn't had a negative impact on the players.

"To be honest, it was a bit of a shock. We didn’t really see it coming, it was a strange time in between the two European games. But Bradley came in, he was a coach anyway so everyone was comfortable with him. It worked out well.

"We did the same training, we didn’t want to change it too much. When the manager goes, the best thing is to keep the head and keep things as calm as possible.

"The lads are happy to [stick with Bradley], so I don’t think the boys are expecting anyone any time soon. Hopefully he does well so he gets to keep the job.

 

Cornwall in action against Finnish side RoPS last week. Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne 

Rovers were beaten 2-0 at Tallaght Stadium by Finnish side RoPS and exited the Europa League after playing out a credible 1-1 draw with them in the second leg away from home.

"The thing is, we probably gave them too much respect in Tallaght and let them play. They pressed us quite well in fairness. We didn’t get in their face and make enough tackles and then they got two easy goals. One was deflected and the other was just a counter attack.

"We had our chances and we didn’t take them. It’s the same story every week. It just didn’t work out for us. We didn’t win, but we played well. We played much better in the second game than we did in the first.

"That was my first [European tie]. Myself and Sean Heaney came in at centre-half and it was both of our first games in Europe. There was a lot of young players out there in comparison the teams St Pat’s and Cork have put out.

"It’s different, if they’re winning they sort of sit off and soak it in whereas League of Ireland is more physical and teams will press you. They’re just more aggressive and then you go over and play a Finnish team. It’s different, they’re a little bit more technical."

Rovers now turn their attention to the SSE Airtricity League, having won only one of their last four league games.

They welcome Bohemians to Tallaght Stadium this Friday at 8pm.