Mick Cooke Post Match Thoughts Vs Bray Wanderers

November 7, 2018

By Robert O’Reilly

“It’s great to get the monkey off our back” was the response from Mick Cooke as Drogheda United picked up their first win of the season with a 2-1 victory over Bray Wanderers at Hunky Dorys Park.

“I felt we were excellent today, most certainly our best performance over 90 minutes this season. I knew it was going to be a tough ask against Bray, their 3-0 defeat against Sligo wasn’t as convincing as it seems as Sligo scored two goals late on. Pat Devlin has them well drilled and we struggled to break them down in the first half before Jason Byrne scored with a marvellous effort. In the second half we really raised our performance and warranted the three points.”

The Seagulls took the lead against the run of play as a defensive mix-up presented the ball to Jason Byrne and the veteran striker powered an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner of the net.

“Unfortunately since the start of the season we have been conceding sloppy, self-destructive goals. It is something that must be eliminated if we are to have a successful campaign. Today it was a short pass out from Gab Sava and Paul O’Conor lost possession. With that being said, it is important to keep in mind the quality that is within the league this season, little mistakes like that are going to be punished.”

Eric Foley marked his return to the starting line up with a perfectly placed free kick to tie the game at 1-1 early in the second half.

“Eric is a tremendously gifted player. He scored a few goals like that for us last season but I think he could work a little harder and really apply himself if he is to reach his full potential. His goal was a turning point as up until then Darren Quigley in the Bray goal looked unbeatable.”

The winner for the home side came on 79 minutes as a deep Shane Grimes cross was headed home by Ryan Brennan who had advanced from midfield.

“Yes that is one of the main advantages to the 4-3-3 system. Ryan can get forward while we have Eric and Paul providing balance in midfield. We also have David Cassidy and Alan Byrne who are comfortable playing in a three. I think the big advantage with the squad this year compared to last is the flexibility which allows me to alternate formations and personnel.”

The Drogs will be back in action on Thursday as they make the short trip to Oriel Park for the first competitive Louth derby of the season.

“Stephen Kenny has signed some experienced players which is something I felt they lacked last year and they have a nice blend with some youths coming through. I have watched them play a couple of times this season and they certainly will not be struggling like they did last year. Louth derbies are always tight affairs and I expect this one to be no different.”