March 31, 2016
BOHEMIANS v LONGFORD TOWN
SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday 1 April 2016, 7.45pm
Bohemians manager Keith Long has told his players that continued hard work will reap rewards.
Friday sees the meeting of two sides who were considered the surprise packages last year, with Bohs finishing fifth and Longford sixth respectively.
But both clubs have had a sluggish start to the new season with four points each from their opening five fixtures.
Long is confident of moving up the table and said: “We know we haven’t clicked yet. But we need to have some perspective too, we’re only five games into the season.
“If we continue working hard, our luck will change. The players have been positive and hard-working all week. I expect us to bounce back.
“Confidence is a huge thing. A good result against Longford and things can suddenly look a lot better.”
Arguably the Gypsies’ best performance of the season so far came against tomorrow’s opposition when Long’s men ran out 3-1 winners in the EA Sports Cup nine days ago.
Long said: “It will be a different game and Tony Cousins will select a stronger team.
“But our mentality is the same. We want fast, attacking football. We want our players to go out and express themselves and to be positive in possession.”
Bohs’ home form has been encouraging so far with two wins and a draw in all competitions at Dalymount Park.
But Saturday’s 1-0 loss to high-flying Galway United was the team’s third defeat from three tough early-season away fixtures.
Long added: “Against Galway, there was very little between the sides.
“We had been quite comfortable. We weathered the storm in the first half against the wind but in the second half, we didn’t take advantage.
“You felt whoever scored first was going to win it. We’re disappointed not to have come away with something from the game.”
Bohs’ options are boosted by the return of Eoin Wearen, who sat out the last three games with a viral infection.
Ismahil Akinade is also back in contention to start after a hamstring strain suffered in the EA Sports Cup game against Longford limited him to a substitute’s role against Galway.
But there are doubts over Mark Quigley, who suffered a quad strain in training on Wednesday, and Jason Caffrey (hamstring).