October 9, 2015
BOHEMIANS v ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday 9 October, 7.45pm
Bohemians continue their search for that extra something to turn draws into wins as they host St Patrick’s Athletic, their nearest neighbours in the league table.
As St Pat’s in fourth place have faltered, with a run of four losses, fifth-place Bohemians have struggled to take advantage with a run of four draws.
“We’re not a million miles off but we need to take and create more chances in games, along with being difficult to beat,” said Long.
“We have conceded some poor goals recently that we did not do earlier in the season. This is an area where we need to tighten up if we’re going to move forward next season.
“Since the summer break we have been a little bit easier to play against and we have to find again that steel and determination we had. If we do that, and play with a bit more fluidity there are goals in this team.”
Following last week’s Leinster Senior Cup semi-final, which Bohemians lost on penalties, they face “another tough game” against St Patrick’s.
As for displacing Pat’s from fourth place, “mathematically, it’s still possible, but they have a game in hand and it’s going to be very difficult,” said Long.
“All we can do is to try and win the game on Friday night, which won’t be easy, and take care of our own performances over the remaining four games.”
Long is again missing the injured James O’Brien (ankle), Derek Prendergast (calf), Stephen Best (thigh) and Jason Caffrey (illness). But Jake Kelly returns, having been cup-tied last weekend, and Anto Murphy, who was out for the last two league games, has done full training all week, and is available.
Stephen Best has publicly committed himself to Bohemians for next season, and manager Long is working on securing other key-pieces of the 2016 squad.
For the present, however, his main focus is on getting the most out of the rest of this year’s campaign. “We want to finish the season as strongly as we possibly can,” he said.