“We are feeling positive and are looking forward to it”
March 10, 2016
BOHEMIANS v SLIGO ROVERS
SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday 11 March 2016, 7.45pm
Keith Long has urged Bohemians to show more quality on the ball as they aim for victory in their first home league game of the season.
Bohs and Sligo Rovers tasted defeat in their league openers last weekend, so both sides will be determined to get points on the board when they go head-to-head on Friday night.
Long said: “We don’t have to pick them up after last week – that comes from within. The team are feeling positive and are looking forward to it.
“It’s been a long off-season and it’s our first home game. Supporters have been waiting for Friday night football at Dalymount Park for months now.
“We will be doing our level best to win and give them a good performance.”
Second-half defensive errors saw the Gypsies succumb to a 2-0 loss away to Cork City last Friday.
But there were plenty of positives to take from the game too, with Long’s men on top in the opening half against a side who have finished runners-up for the past two seasons.
Long said: “We went down with a game-plan that worked to a point. We had been good defensively and played a lot of the game in Cork’s half.
“There wasn’t a lot in it, but we were slow coming out in the second half and it was a bad first goal to concede – a basic error.
“We didn’t recover from it. To concede again ten minutes later meant the game-plan went out the window.”
Long admits Bohs are still a work in progress and has identified areas where he believes they need to improve.
He said: “As well as trying to reproduce the level of our first-half performance from last week, we also want to add to that a bit more quality when we’re on the ball.
“But we know we’re not the finished article yet. We are still integrating new signings and we’re looking to improve.”
Another man looking to integrate new players will be Long’s opposite number tomorrow, new Sligo Rovers manager Dave Robertson.
The former Peterborough United boss handed debuts to eight of his starting XI in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Shamrock Rovers at the Showgrounds.
Long added: “With so many new players having signed from England, Sligo are something of an unknown quantity this season.
“We went to watch them on Saturday and were somewhat unlucky to lose by two goals having had two players sent off.
“They’ve good players and played well, but we have identified areas we hope to exploit too.”
Bohs have no injury concerns going into the game with Roberto Lopes, who serves a one-match ban after being sent off against Cork, the only absentee.