April 23, 2015
DERRY CITY v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League, Brandywell, Friday 24 April, k-o 7.45pm
Bohemians travel to the north-west for the second time this week aiming to preserve their unbeaten away record this season.
“Derry is a tough place to go and a tough place to get anything from. But I, along with the backroom team and the players, believe we can go there and put in a good performance which we hope will lead to a positive result,” said manager Keith Long.
“The results we have had on the road so far give us confidence and we’ll go there in good spirit.”
Long credits the players with building a strong spirit in the camp. “The players have to be admired for how they have taken ownership of their performances to date,” he said.
“We give them a structure to play in, but the players deserve a lot of credit for how they have conducted themselves and how they have performed so far this year.”
However, Long believes his team could and should have got more from Monday’s game against Sligo Rovers.
“We created the outstanding chances in the game, so it does feel like two points dropped.
“Sligo are a good team despite their indifferent start to the season, so we’re not too disappointed to come away with a point. However, I did feel we had enough clear-cut chances in the game to get the three points.”
The Bohemian manager gave first league-starts of the campaign to midfielders Dave Mulcahy and James O’Brien and was pleased with how that worked out.
“Obviously, Dave is an experienced player and that experience was important to us on the night and will be as we go forward. James offers the team something different as an attack-minded midfielder with an eye for goal.
“He slipped a great pass to Dean Kelly that could have given us the winning goal late in the game. We have a squad that we trust to put in the performances when we ask them.”
Long does admit to some disappointment at the performance in last weekend’s home game against St Patrick’s Athletic.
“Our job is to entertain and I felt that in front of such a big crowd we possibly missed an opportunity. People may have come out for the first time this season, or for the first time in a while, and it was a chance to get them back on board.
“We didn’t play to our potential. The performance wasn’t as good as I hoped for, or as good as I know we can play. I came away from that game thinking we didn’t do ourselves justice and we didn’t give the supporters what they deserve.”
Long insists the team will get better as the season goes on. “I keep reinforcing to the players that they can improve and the good thing is they’re not shying away from that. They know they can get better,” he said.
Robbie Creevy (ankle) missed the Sligo game and will face a late fitness test for Friday. After a long lay-off with a cruciate injury, Dan Byrne returned this week to full training – “a great positive for the club”, according to manager Long.