“We need to find that level of consistency”

Bohemians v Bray Wanderers - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

DUNDALK v BOHEMIANS
SSE AIRTRICITY LEAGUE
Sunday July 29, Oriel Park, 7pm

K[/toggle]eith Long has warned Bohemians that Dundalk will not allow their European campaign distract them from the task at hand at Oriel Park tomorrow.

After drawing the first leg of their Europa League qualifying tie against AEK Larnaca 0-0, talk has already turned to Thursday’s return leg in Cyprus.

But Long said: “They’re not a team that takes their eye off the ball.

“Obviously they have the second leg of their European tie to look forward to next week, but their focus will be on this game.

“It’s going to be tough up there as it is for all teams. We’ll be the underdogs but we’re not going up there to make up the numbers.

“We’ve worked hard all week and we’re going up to Dundalk to try and get something out of the game.”

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The Gypsies come into this buoyed by last week’s 6-0 drubbing of Bray Wanderers – Bohs’ biggest league win in 17 years when they beat UCD by the same scoreline.

It was the perfect response having slumped to a 3-0 defeat at home to Sligo Rovers a week previously.

Long said: “We played really well and should have scored more.

“It was an excellent performance. I saw Bray last night and Cork in some ways laboured to a 3-1 victory so we can be very pleased with how we fared.

“There is still a lot to play for this season. If we can perform to the level we performed last week, then we we can feel confident.

“If we play like we did two weeks ago against Sligo, then we’ll make things difficult for ourselves.

“We need to find that level of consistency, which has been our problem this year.

“But we’re going from playing the division’s bottom side to playing one of if not the division’s top side.

“Dundalk have no real weaknesses. They’re very strong and very committed throughout their team.”

While Daniel Kelly grabbed the headlines last week with two goals against his former club in his first start for Bohs, Long was keen to praise the efforts of debutant Andy Lyons.

Lyons, who turns 18 on Thursday, deputised in place of suspended captain Derek Pender and gave an accomplished performance at right-back.

Long added: “Andy came from St Joseph’s through to captaining our U17s and U19s. He has done very well for us.

“He’s been in and around the first team for a while and with Derek suspended, we felt it was the right game to give him his chance.

“Obviously tomorrow’s game is a different level of opposition and will be a real test but he can be pleased with how he did last week.”

TEAM NEWS

Derek Pender (suspended) and Ryan Swan (cruciate) are out. Eoghan Stokes (knee) – a late withdrawal last week – is available for selection.

Striker Ryan Masterson signed for the club yesterday but his registration has not come through in time for him to feature tomorrow.

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