“We will be doing our utmost to come out on top”

Bohemians v Bray Wanderers - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

BOHEMIANS v LIMERICK
Friday August 8 2018, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Match sponsor: Madhouse - based on the true life story of comedian PJ Gallagher
Matchball sponsor: Tom Geraghty

Keith Long has warned Bohemians to expect a battle when Limerick come to Dalymount Park tonight.

The Gypsies are currently in seventh place, four points ahead of Tommy Barrett’s side who are ninth and in the play-off spot.

A win for Bohs would see them open up a healthy seven-point gap between them and the Shannonsiders.

But defeat would see the margin whittled down to a solitary point and have Long’s men looking nervously over their shoulders.

Long said: “There has been nothing between the sides this season with the three previous games finishing in draws and there is very little between the teams in terms of league standings either, so this game could prove very important in the context of our season.

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“Limerick have, along with Bray Wanderers, been in the news for the wrong reasons so you have to admire the way Tommy and his players have focused on football and have picked up some impressive results since we last met.

“We will be doing our utmost to come out on top following Sunday’s defeat in Dundalk.

“Limerick have a 48-hour advantage on us in terms of recovery but we have prepared well this week and everyone is looking forward to the challenge.”

Bohs bounced back from an uninspiring 3-0 defeat against Sligo Rovers three weeks ago with a thumping 6-0 defeat of Bray a fortnight ago.

Not many gave the Gypsies a chance when they travelled to Oriel Park last Sunday. They lost the game 2-0 for the Lilywhites’ 11th league victory in a row but Long was pleased with his team’s efforts.

He said: “The performance in Dundalk was good. The lads worked extremely hard against the division’s top side.

“We were arguably the better side for the first 30 minutes. We played some good attacking football and matched Dundalk in every area.

“We created chances, which we didn’t take. When you’re in the ascendancy, you need to capitalise which we didn’t.

“Unfortunately we conceded a goal from a corner and what looked to me a dubious enough penalty in the second half.

“But to their credit, the players never stopped trying and we almost got back in the game with 10 minutes remaining when Keith Ward hit the foot of the post and then saw another effort cleared off the line.”

TEAM NEWS

Striker Ryan Masterson comes into the squad having been signed last week.

Skipper Derek Pender is available for selection after serving his two-match ban.

He will vie for a place at right-back with Andy Lyons, who turned 18 yesterday, impressing in his absence.

Rob Cornwall (hamstring), a late withdrawal against Dundalk, remains a doubt.

Ryan Swan (cruciate) remains out.

Another notable absentee from the squad will be Paddy Kavanagh, who has left the club by mutual consent after four and a half years with the club.

Long added: “Paddy Kavanagh has this week left the club and I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to Paddy for all his efforts during my tenure at Dalymount.

“Paddy is a great guy and was a key member of the squad very popular amongst the players and staff alike. We wish him well for the future.”

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