Lee Grace's absence from Shamrock Rovers' UEFA Europa Conference League play-off round second leg against Flora Tallinn is a significant setback for the team, head coach Stephen Bradley admits.
The defender missed the 4-2 first leg defeat in Estonia last Thursday after sustaining a knock and has not recovered in time from his thigh injury to feature at Tallaght Stadium on Thursday.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Bradley said Grace's recent form made his non-availability a "blow" for Rovers but added that his absence from the first leg was not a reason for their defensive frailties on the night.
"Because he's been playing really well, it's a blow. He's got back to his best, Lee, and he's been excellent," said the Hoops boss.
"But I believe every player in the squad is at a similar level and is ready to play. The errors last week were throughout the team. It's something that we don't normally do. It's very unlike us and missing one player doesn't have that effect on last week's performance."
Bradley confirmed that Liam Scales would be available to start in defence as a potential transfer to Celtic nears.
"All I know is that we're focused on Thursday and Liam is focused on Thursday and what will be after that is down to the club," he added.
Rovers require a win by two goals over Flora to force the tie into extra-time, while a winning margin of threewithin 90 minutes would seal the club's place in the Conference League group stages.
But Bradley said that the team are focusing on getting a result first and foremost rather than on permutations.
"We've just got to focus on what we do, don't worry about how many goals or what we need to do or what time," he said.
"Just focus on our jobs, focus on getting back to our levels and we know if we do that, we can cause this team or any team problems. So that's the main focus."
Watch Shamrock Rovers v Flora Tallinn live on RTÉ2 or RTÉ Player on Thursday from 7.30pm.
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