Stephen Bradley lauded Shamrock Rovers' achievement of securing group stage European football this season but said that "serious questions need to be asked" about logistic issues which has led to them having to fly back via Shannon Airport.

His Hoops side saw off KF Shkupi 2-1 in the North Macedonian capital on Tuesday thanks to second half goals from Rory Gaffney and Aidomo Emhaku, which sealed a 5-2 aggregate passage to the Europa League play-off round where Hungarian record champions Ferencvaros await.

But victory in the tie also guaranteed the minimum of group stage football in the Europa Conference League at the very least.

It will be the second time in the club's history that they will play group stage European football and speaking after the second leg win over Shkupi, Bradley expressed delight at securing a personal and collective target after in his words, feeling like they had let themselves down, against Flora Tallinn last season in pursuit of that goal.

"It's something tomorrow evening when I'm sitting down with a glass of wine with my wife that I'll definitely have a look at and think it's something that we set out to do at the start of the year and we achieved it," he said.

"But we need to know the job's not done. We're going into the group stages to win games and do our best to get out of the group."

The financial benefits of playing in the Europa Conference League group stages will see participants expected to receive €2.94m, along with additional bonuses for wins and draws.

Bradley admitted it was a boost but that sustainability would be key for the club's future.

"It's so important for every club around Europe, not just in Ireland," he said to RTÉ Sport.

"We know financially what it means to us and everyone at the club knows that. But we also need to understand that the club hasn't been built on group stages.

"We learned those lessons long ago. We've had a steady plan and obviously this has been one of our aims but it hasn't been all or nothing.

"But we're delighted to get there and we know how much financially it's going to help the club which is brilliant."

Bradley was particularly pleased with how his side approached the second leg against Shkupi with a two-goal advantage to defend and against a side which had showed a real attacking threat in the first leg's second half.

"I'm delighted. I thought the players were fantastic tonight. We knew we had to go up a few levels from last week and I felt we did that tonight and we limited them to very little and possibly should have scored another couple more on what was a really poor pitch and difficult weather wise, and I thought we handled all that really well," he said.

"The pleasing aspect was that we attacked the game to win it which was really good to see that. It takes a lot of character from the players and they've done that."

The one aspect which the Shamrock Rovers manager expressed disappointment about was the travel logistics as they try to make their return home with an SSE Airtricity League fixture against Derry City to come on Friday, followed by the first leg against Ferencvaros next week.

They will fly into Shannon Airport on Wednesday morning rather than to Dublin.

"We're really disappointed at that," he said.

"We find out again that (St Patrick's Athletic's opponents CSKA) Sofia are flying in and out of Dublin direct.

"There are serious questions that need to be asked there. How the Irish teams can't do this and it seems like every team that comes to play here can do it. Serious questions need to be asked of people that are making these decisions. It's not acceptable."

With reference to their previous Champions League opponents, Bulgarian champions Ludogorets, he added: "It can't be that both Bulgarian teams are flying in and out of Dublin direct and we're flying back through Shannon, have to go out through Shannon.

"Pat's, obviously the trouble they're having, it's not right. There needs to be serious questions asked of who's allowing this to happen and why it's allowed to happen because it cost us against Ludogorets. I just hope it doesn't cost St Pat's at home because it's not acceptable."

Bradley also confirmed that the club had sought to push the fixture against Derry back to Saturday or Sunday but that the league had turned down their request which he said he "found strange".

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