“WE ALL WANT MORE NIGHTS LIKE THAT”

Oscar Brennan celebrates v St Pat's - A. Baldiemann

​BOHEMIANS v SLIGO ROVERS
Friday June 23 2017, 7.45pm, Dalymount Park

Keith Long hopes last week’s Dublin derby victory has whetted the appetite for challenges ahead – for players and supporters alike.

The first game back after the mid-season break, Bohemians were trailing 1-0 at half-time against St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park after a disappointing opening 45 minutes.

But, roared on by a passionate away support, Long’s men stormed back with a confident second-half performance to win 3-1.

That result leaves Bohs in seventh place, seven points off the European places but also six points off the relegation zone.

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With that in mind, Long is keeping feet firmly on the ground as the Gypsies welcome Sligo Rovers to Dalymount Park.

He said: “It was a very important win against St Pat’s.

“In previous seasons, we have been slow coming back off the mid-season break so it was vital, having drawn our last home game against Drogheda, that we got something from the game.

“Our second-half performance was really good and it was in line with what we feel this group of players is capable of.

“In the first half, we weren’t at the races. Pat’s deservedly went in at half-time in front.

“Oscar Brennan set the tone for the second half by showing great desire to be first to a 50-50 ball and great composure to slot the ball home to bring us back into the game.

“Dinny Corcoran continued his fine form in front of goal with an expert finish from a sublime Keith Ward pass.

“The night was complete when Georgie showed great energy to get on to another piece of clever play from Wardy and finish to the bottom corner.”

The victory sparked joyous celebrations in The Shed End of Richmond Park and Long appealed to those same supporters to assist the Player Fund set up by club members and fans last week.

Long said: “The scenes afterwards typify this club. We brought another big travelling support and the atmosphere generated on the back of what the lads produced on the pitch really spurred the players on.

“We all want more nights like that – more performances like the second half. If we can produce that, it could be an exciting second half of the season.

“We must, however, guard against any sort of complacency – throughout the club. We are not good enough to be complacent against any team.

“We are involved in a massive battle. The transfer window will open on July 1 and it’s important we try and strengthen our squad to give us the best chance of competing.

“Our rivals will invest. Case in point is our opponents tomorrow announcing the signing of two professional players from the UK (Rhys McCabe and Benny Igiehon).

“With three teams going down this year, other clubs will follow suit.

“It’s a difficult window to get players in but, if possible, we must recruit well and affect the squad in a positive way.

“Resources are finite and the recent appeal for donations to a player fund highlights this fact.

“But Bohs supporters are proud people who love their club and have always got behind any drive to support the club.

“We need their support. I have always said I want the players and supporters to be together. The rapport this group has built up with them is fantastic.

“Now we need them now more than ever to get behind the lads.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians welcome Lorcan Fitzgerald back from suspension. But Dylan Hayes remains suspended as he serves the last of his three-game ban.

Defenders Rob Cornwall (hip) and Ian Morris (knee) are both doubtful meaning 18-year-old defender Warren O’Hora, who made his league debut off the bench last week, could once again step in.

Ismahil Akinade (surgery to remove spleen) and Eoin Wearen (cruciate) remain on the sidelines.

 

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