Fourth-placed Hoops host the Sainst who sit just one place behind them in the early season table in the South ...Thu, Mar 15 2018
Stephen Bradley expects striker Daniel Carr to play a big part this season after breaking his Shamrock Rovers duck in the 6-0 win over Bray Wanderers on Monday night.
The Londoner came into the starting line-up for the first time in place of Gary Shaw, having deputised from the bench in the Hoops' opening fixtures with Bohemians and Dundalk.
He made a clear impact on the game before being replaced by Sean Boyd after 68 minutes, creating a goal for Dave McAllister before netting for the first time in a Hoops shirt shortly after.
Carr was mobbed by teammates after his 63rd minute goal – all nine outfield players flocked to celebrate with him – and fans sung his name from the stands.
And his manager feels the popular striker will have a big role to play over the coming season, having plucked him from the relative obscurity of the Swedish fourth tier.
“Dan brings unpredictability around the box,” Bradley told extratime.ie.
“His feet are really good and it’s very hard for defenders to mark him because he’s so tricky. He moves the ball really well and his finish was excellent.
“He’s such a good character. He’s settled in really well. He’s worked hard behind the scenes. He’s had to be patient and wait for his chance and when it came tonight he took it.”
Carr wasn't the only Rovers newboy to make his mark on the scoresheet against Bray – new signing from Fulham, Sean Kavanagh, smashed home a free kick on his full debut.
Having switched from the left-wing berth he occupied in the first half to the right after the break, Kavanagh laid a goal on a plate for Brandon Miele before notching for himself.
“Sean was brilliant all night. I felt his quality on the ball and his understanding of the game was brilliant all night. Right wing, left wing, left back – I thought he showed real quality tonight.”
Rovers snatched Kavanagh from under the noses of Derry City – with whom the Ringsend native had spent much of pre-season – on the eve of the season.
The 24-year-old, who played with Damien Duff at Craven Cottage, quickly agreed terms with the Hoops after negotiating his release from the Championship club for whom he made 21 appearances.
“We’ve been aware of Sean a long, long time, about a year now, but we knew he was contracted with Fulham so there was no point bringing him in training for a month when he was contracted.
“As soon as we got the heads-up that the deal with Fulham was very close to getting done, it was a matter of meeting him and explaining where we saw him and what we thought of him. The deal was done in two hours.”
Bradley made four changes to the Rovers line-up following Friday's scoreless draw with Dundalk, with Greg Bolger dropping out due to injury.
Carr and Kavanagh were two of the players to step in, and the changes worked a charm as the Hoops bulldozed a willing but limited Bray side.
“We have a good squad and we had to freshen up the team and how we freshened up the team was bringing in the lads we brought in.
“I don’t think it weakened the team at all – if anything, it could have made us a bit stronger. That’s what it was about – it was never about making changes just for the sake of it.
“I think the lads showed great character to bounce back Friday and tonight.
“You can easily feel sorry for yourself after Bohemians, knowing you have a big game against Dundalk, and fold, but they didn’t. They stood up to it.”
Rovers are scheduled to face Limerick at the Market's Field on Saturday night after the Blues fell to a record 8-0 defeat in Dundalk on Tuesday night.