Stephen Bradley believes his Shamrock Rovers team's ability to regularly score late goals is testament to their strength of character.

The latest example of the Hoops' tendency to strike late came against St Patrick's Athletic as Danny Mandroiu scored a winner in stoppage time to secure a 2-1 win at Richmond Park and underline their title defence credentials.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Bradley said his players have been getting rewards for keeping going until the final whistle.

"It's a fantastic attribute to have in the locker as a team, and again, it shows the belief and the character within the group. They never stop going until the 95th minute in every game and they get the rewards," the Rovers boss said.

Bradley was not as pleased with the fourth-minute goal his side conceded which was converted by St Pat's midfielder Chris Forrester.

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"We were really disappointed with the goal we gave away. It was sloppy from us but then our response was brilliant," he said.

"We should have had two or three goals and we responded really well and I thought we took control of the game then."

Adding that his side are "getting stronger and better" as the first half of the season progresses, Bradley suggested that "we'll see the best of them come mid-season".

"The squad is really strong. I said at the start of the season I believe it's the strongest squad we've had and every player that's come in is ready to play and it's fantastic to have that," he continued.

Praising the scorer of the winner, Bradley described Mandroiu's contribution since joining Rovers from rivals Bohemians as "first class" and that he "will only get fitter and stronger" as the campaign goes on.

With former Dundalk midfielder Richie Towell set to bolster the ranks from 1 July after finishing up with Salford City in England, Rovers will have further strength in depth for the second half of the campaign.

"We'll have him 1 July. He needs a break, he's played a long season so he's free. So we just have to be careful because he can't go through, we need to give him a break and then get him in," said Bradley.