“We need to match that level of commitment”

DERRY CITY v BOHEMANS
Friday October 14, 7.45pm

Keith Long has urged Bohemians to give a repeat of last week’s derby performance when they travel to The Brandywell on Friday.

Roberto Lopes’ goal at Dalymount Park capped off a confident display to claim the bragging rights against rivals Shamrock Rovers for the first time this season.

And manager Long doesn’t want those standards to drop as the Gypsies look to finish the season on a high.

Long said: “It was a great performance.

“It was a huge crowd and we had great support from our fans. They were right behind us and they gave the team that extra bit of confidence.

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“They fed off that and, to a man, the players were excellent.

“It shows what we are capable of and the level of performance we have been striving to achieve.

“We could have won by more and it would have been nice to get a few extra goals that the performance deserved.

“But to get a win was the most important thing. It would have been tough to swallow another defeat against them.”

The challenge now is to maintain that standard as Bohs face into a tough set of fixtures to finish off the season.

All three of the Gypsies’ remaining games are away from home against Derry City, Dundalk and Finn Harps respectively.

Long said: “We need to match that level of commitment up in Derry. If we don’t, it could be a long night.

“To finish the season with three away games isn’t easy. But we’re sixth now and we don’t want to drop down the table.”

Going into last week’s derby victory, Bohs had failed to register a point against the Hoops this season.

Similarly, they face a Candystripes team on Friday who have beaten them at every opportunity this season.

Long added: “We haven’t had it our way against Derry this season. Last year we had the upper hand, beating them three times.

“This year they’ve beaten us twice in the league and knocked us out of the cup.

“There hasn’t been a lot between the sides in those games. But we have to approach this game on its own merits and go out and go out and give it all we’ve got.”

TEAM NEWS

Ismahil Akinade (illness) remains out for the rest of the season, while Roberto Lopes is suspended.

There are doubts over Stephen Best and Dan Byrne (both illness).[/toggle

“We want to send the supporters home happy”

BOHEMIANS v SHAMROCK ROVERS
SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday September 7, 7.45pm

Bohemians go into Friday’s Dublin derby against Shamrock Rovers determined to give fans something to cheer about.

The Gypsies have suffered successive defeats against Rovers in the sides’ two meetings this year and manager Keith Long wants to set the record straight.

He said: “It’s our last home game of the season and it’s against Shamrock Rovers – we want to send the supporters home happy.

“We won’t need any motivation. The players are determined to give a gutsy and honest performance.

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“We performed badly in our last game against them at Dalymount, so we want to make amends for that and it’s our last chance to do so this season.

“We’re looking forward to it. It should be a good spectacle but the most important things is we come out of it with the right result.”

Bohs come into this game on the back of a disappointing 2-1 loss against Bray Wanderers.

Harry Kenny’s Seagulls extended their remarkable run to just one defeat in 15 games. But Long was disappointed with his side’s performance.

He added: “We didn’t play well, particularly in the first half. Individually and collectively, the performance wasn’t right.

“That’s happened too many times this season and we all have to take responsibility for that and put it right.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohs are once again without Ismahil Akinade through illness.

Captain Derek Pender has been suffering with a virus but is expected to be available for selection.

“We can play better”

BRAY WANDERERS v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League, Carlisle Grounds, Friday September 30 2016, 7.45pm

Keith Long has urged his Bohemians side to raise their game against Bray Wanderers.

Seventh-placed Bray Wanderers host sixth-placed Bohs at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night.

Just two points separate the sides, with both teams among the chasing pack looking to break into the top five.

In a congested mid-table, there are just five points between Sligo Rovers in fifth and Galway United in ninth.

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Bohs come into this game on the back of successive 1-0 victories against Wexford Youths and Longford Town respectively.

But Long feels there is still room for improvement as the Gypsies aim to win three league games in a row for the first time this season.

Long said: “I don’t think we’ve played particularly well in either of those games.

“Once we got the goal, we never looked like conceding. But we didn’t hit the heights we are capable of.

“We got maximum points from two games but the players are conscious that we can play better.

“We are constantly looking to improve and evolve how we play. We are definitely going to have to play better to get anything out in Bray.

“But we’re really looking forward to it. We’re going there with a bit of confidence after two wins and we are in a positive frame of mind.”

Against Harry Kenny’s Seagulls, Bohs are facing one of the league’s in-form teams.

Long added: “Since Harry came in, Bray have been on an upward curve. In Dylan Connolly, they have probably the most in-form player in the league.

“They’ve only lost once in 14 games and that was away to Cork City. That included a 0-0 draw against us, which we were very unlucky not to win.

“You’ve two teams who want to finish the season on a high. It’s not going to be easy but it’s going to be a great battle.”

TEAM NEWS

Goalkeeper Shane Supple (groin) is available again for selection. Striker Izzy Akinade (illness) remains out.

“KEEP CLIMBING”

BOHEMIANS v LONGFORD TOWN
SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday September 23 2016, 7.45pm

Bohemians are in the top half of the table for the first time this season and manager Keith Long has challenged them to stay there.

Monday’s 1-0 over Wexford Youths at Dalymount Park saw the Gypsies jump from ninth place to sixth, leapfrogging Bray Wanderers, St Patrick’s Athletic and Galway United in the process.

Now overtaking Sligo Rovers is in the Gypsies’ sights as Long looks to emulate last season’s fifth-placed league finish.

He said: “We want to stay in the top half – and climb further too. Obviously we’ve played a couple more games than St Pat’s and one more than Galway United.

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“But points on the board is the most important thing. We want to finish the season as strongly as we possibly can.”

Victory against Wexford Youths came on the back of successive defeats against league leaders Dundalk and, more disappointingly, Galway United.

Errors at the back cost Bohs in the 2-0 loss away to the Tribesman.

But with a fresh centre-back pairing of Ian Morris and Derek Prendergast, Bohs looked solid in defence on Monday as they claimed their 11th clean sheet in the league this season.

Long said: “Our hand was forced on against Wexford to a certain extent.

“Stephen Best was unavailable due to a problem with his teeth and braces. Three games in eight days might have been a lot to ask of Dan Byrne too.

“Ian Morris came in and he’s an extremely experienced player. We missed Derek Prendergast’s organisational skills down in Galway too.

“It wasn’t a great game but once we got our noses in front, we looked comfortable.”

Known for his regular goal-of-the-season contenders, the game was decided by an uncharacteristic tap-in from Kurtis Byrne.

Long said: “He got a bit of help from the goalkeeper too, he was disappointed with that! We joked afterwards that he needs to get more of those.

“But Kurtis doesn’t need to prove himself to everyone. He’s our top scorer with eight in the league and 14 in all competitions.

“I think at the start of the season he would have been aiming for double figures in the league so there’s plenty of time for him to do that now and more.

“I’ve said before that he’s more of a No 10 than a No 9 but with Izzy Akinade unavailable, he’s been asked to do a different job.”

Bohs face bottom side Longford Town who, last weekend away to Finn Harps, claimed their first victory since the opening day of the season.

Long added: “It was a deserved win for them by all accounts. That will give them renewed confidence.

“They know it’s now or never for them. They’re scrapping for points. We have to be ready for that and can’t be found wanting.”

TEAM NEWS

Izzy Akinade (illness) remains out and is unlikely to feature again this season. Shane Supple (groin) is a doubt, while Stephen Best (dental) returns.

“We have to show a bit of character now”

BOHEMIANS v WEXFORD YOUTHS,
Dalymount Park, Monday September 19, 7.45pm

Keith Long has told Bohemians to show some character as they look to bounce back from two successive defeats on Monday night.

The Gypsies had accumulated an impressive 10 points from their previous four league outings.

They can count themselves unlucky to have lost out 2-1 to Dundalk a fortnight ago, but can have no complaints about the 2-0 defeat away to Galway United on Friday night.

Long said: “It was a disappointing result and a bitterly disappointing performance.

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“We started the game brightly. But we were loose in possession and gave the ball away too easily. It was a bad night all round.”

Victory against Galway would have seen Bohs move up to sixth. Instead, they dropped to ninth.

Long said: “We’ve dropped two places over the weekend. The table doesn’t make for pretty reading at the moment.

“There is not a lot between five or six teams in the league. We need to get back to winning ways and bridge that gap.

“We have to show a bit of character now and go out and give a performance.”

That will be easier said than done against a Wexford Youths side who took a point from their last league game at Dalymount Park in March.

Bohs have had the upper hand since, winning in the league at Ferrycarrig Park and again in the Leinster Senior Cup final at Dalymount Park last month.

Shane Keegan’s are currently second from bottom, six points clear of bottom side Longford Town and four adrift of 10-placed Finn Harps.

Long said: “They are down the bottom scrapping for points. They’ve worked extremely hard to get into this division and they’re working extremely hard to stay in it.

“We’ve got to show some guts and give a committed performance.”

Bohs welcome back Lorcan Fitzgerald and Derek Prendergast from suspension. Izzy Akinade, however, remains a doubt with illness.

Warren O’Hara and Dean Casey, who helped the Under-19s to a 1-0 win against Longford Town yesterday, could again be included in the senior team.

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