“If you take things for granted in a cup competition, you can very quickly find yourself out of it”

GALWAY UTD v BOHEMIANS
FAI Cup Rd 2
Friday August 24 2018, Eamonn Deacy Park, 7.45pm

Keith Long says there is no room for complacency if you want to progress in cup competitions.

Bohemians are on a high after last week’s 1-0 Dublin Derby win away to Shamrock Rovers.

But no trophies are handed out for winning the Dublin Derby. While supporters lapped it up, the team’s celebrations were brief and measured as they knuckled down in preparation for tomorrow’s FAI Cup tie away to Galway United.

Long’s men are a team in form, however, and will travel west in confidence having won four of their last five games – losing only to the country’s form team Dundalk – and having kept four clean sheets while scoring 22 goals in the process.

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Long said: “The upturn in our form is no coincidence. We’ve been able to plan and recover properly playing games Friday-Friday as opposed to earlier in the season when we were playing Friday-Monday-Friday.

“Being able to plan for games consistently is very important and it’s played a big part in our results.

“We’ve been on a good run recently but tomorrow is a very important game for the club and it’s important we maintain those standards if we want to progress in the cup.”

The high tempo and energy-sapping nature of the Dublin Derby has at times in recent years seen Bohs struggle to reach the same heights in subsequent games but Long is confident this week’s recovery and preparations will ensure that the Gypsies will be well-primed.

He said: “I don’t think that’s going to be a factor for us.

“We were up in Derry on a Monday after the last time beating Rovers whereas this time we’ve recovered well on the Saturday and got back into our normal training schedule for the week.

“We had to win for our own reasons last week too – it wasn’t just because it was a derby. We wanted to put some distance between ourselves and the play-off spot and we managed to do so.

“Everyone was obviously in good spirits in training this week but everyone knows last week is in the past now. Tomorrow is a different game and a very important one.”

Bohs notched up a stunning 7-0 win in the last round in Ferrycarrig Park but before that game Long warned that “we can’t go looking ahead dreaming of a cup run without overcoming Wexford first.”

And Long and his troops will travel to Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow in very much the same frame of mind – First Division sides Drogheda United and Longford Town claiming the scalps of Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers respectively in the previous round a timely reminder to proceed with caution.

Long said: “If you take things for granted in a cup competition, you can very quickly find yourself out of it.

“Galway United is a club geared towards being a Premier Division club. They have some excellent players, excellent facilities and an excellent pitch.

“They will have been happy with a home draw so we will be going down there taking absolutely nothing for granted.

“Anything can happen in a one-off cup game. The onus is on us to go down there and impose our game-plan on Galway.

“They’ll have a big support behind them but I think we will too.

“This is a competition everyone at the club wants to do well in and know they’ll be right behind us down there. We’re looking forward to it.”

TEAM NEWS

Kevin Devaney (septum) misses out. Rob Cornwall (hamstring) returns. Ryan Swan (cruciate) remains sidelined.

“We’re going to Tallaght, positive, confident and determined to do well”

SHAMROCK ROVERS v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League
Friday April 17 2018, Tallaght Stadium, 8pm

Keith Long says Bohemians will travel to Tallaght tomorrow positive and eager to continue their recent run of form.

Bohs are looking to extend their unbeaten Dublin Derby run against Shamrock Rovers tomorrow to five games.

But that will be easier said than done – the Gypsies’ 2-1 in Tallaght Stadium may have been the second time in a row that they have won at the venue but only the third since Rovers moved there in 2009.

There is a great sense of anticipation for these games but Long refuses to get caught up in that.

He said: “It’s the Dublin Derby so there’s a sense of occasion for supporters but for us as a team the most important thing is getting points and improving our league position.

“We want to build on the results we’ve had and move up the table.

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“We’ve struggled for consistency this season but we’ve a good run in the last few weeks and it’s important we try continue that and push on.”

Since a demoralising 3-0 reversal at home to Sligo Rovers a month ago, Bohs have dusted themselves down and earned deserved plaudits for three high-scoring victories since.

They have beaten Bray Wanderers and Limerick 6-0 and 5-0 respectively with a decent performance in a 2-0 defeat away to the league’s form team Dundalk sandwiched in between.

And last Friday they reached new heights by beating First Division Wexford 7-0 in the FAI Cup.

But continuing that good form against a Rovers side hurting from their exit from the cup against Drogheda United last Friday presents a fresh challenge.

Long added: “We’ve played well in recent weeks and we want to able to continue to do that against stronger opposition.

“The most pleasing aspect of those performances was the determination and confidence we showed in our play.

“Rovers are obviously a step up from the opposition we’ve beaten recently and they had been in good form up until their cup game last week.

“But we’re going to Tallaght, positive, confident and determined to do well.”

TEAM NEWS

Rob Cornwall (hamstring) remains a doubt. Ian Morris (back) returns. Ryan Swan (cruciate) remains sidelined.

“We can’t go looking ahead dreaming of a cup run without overcoming Wexford first”

WEXFORD FC v BOHEMIAN FC
IRISH DAILY MAIL FAI CUP Rd 1
Friday August 10 2018, Ferrycarrig Park, 8pm

Keith Long says Bohemians need look no further than the league’s form team to realise the potential pitfalls of cup football.

Dundalk, on the back of winning 11 Premier Division games in a row, travelled to St Colman’s Park on Monday where nobody gave Cobh Ramblers a chance in their EA Sports Cup semi-final.

But the Lilywhites came away empty-handed after Stephen Henderson’s Ramblers proved that the romance of cup football is very much alive as their famous 1-0 win secured a place in a senior cup final for the first time in the club’s history.

There was a sense of relief among Bohs fans that their opponents at the first hurdle of this year’s FAI Cup were not another Premier Division side.

Keith Long’s side haven’t had much luck with FAI Cup draws in recent years – they’ve played four ties in the past three years, all of which have been against Premier Division opposition.

As fans covet a much sought-after cup run, Long and his players travel south to Ferrycarrig Park as strong favourites but he insists they are looking no further than tomorrow’s opposition.

He said: “We can’t go looking ahead dreaming of a cup run without overcoming Wexford first.

“You only have to look at Cobh beating Dundalk on Monday to know the dangers of cup football.

“You have to give the opposition the respect they deserve and prepare correctly. We’ll be going down having prepared for this game professionally as we would any other.”

But while Long has understandably urged caution, he has fair reason to be confident too.

Bohs have found their scoring touch in recent weeks with 6-0 and 5-0 wins over Bray Wanderers and Limerick respectively.

Long said: “It wasn’t just the scorelines that were pleasing but the overall manner of those performances.

“We had a guile about our play to try get ahead in games and smelt blood and went for it when it was appropriate to do so.

“We were ruthless and clinical but disciplined in our play also. The attitude of the players was spot on.

“Goals were spread around the team which was pleasing to see. Dinny Corcoran is obviously our No 9, our talisman. But we’ve had others in various positions chipping in too which is necessary.

“We’ve the likes of Danny Grant enjoying a good spell for us and Cristian Magerusan is knocking on the door too after coming back from injury set-backs.”

Grant and Magerusan were on the scoresheet for the Bohemians U19s on Tuesday night as they beat Limerick 4-1 away in the Enda McGuill Cup semi-final.

The other two goalscorers on the night – captain Andy Lyons and Steven Nolan – have also featured for the first team and that victory set up a Dublin derby Enda McGuill Cup final against St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park on Tuesday September 4.

Long added: “It’s important that we are challenging at U19 level and have players coming through our partnership U17 and U15 teams with St Kevin’s too.

“We’ve been able to bring Andy through in recent weeks when Derek Pender has been suspended and he did very well at right-back.

“We want to be able to afford them the opportunity in the first team but it has to be right for the balance of the first team too and it was on that occasion.

“I’m pleased that we are in a position now that some of our U19s are really asking a lot of questions of the players in our first team.

“It’s a positive situation to be in. Our U19s train alongside the first team at Blanchardstown so we regularly move players across to first-team training to see where they’re at.

“It’s good for the culture at the club for our underage players to see there’s a pathway there and it’s important for their development coming up against experienced players in training too.”

TEAM NEWS

Rob Cornwall (hamstring) looks set to miss out again, while Ian Morris (back) is a doubt. Ryan Swan (cruciate) remains out.

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

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.”

“We need to find that level of consistency”

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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