May 21, 2015
BOHEMIANS v BRAY WANDERERS
SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday 21st May, k-o 7.45pm
Bohemians boss Keith Long is hopeful his players can bounce back from a disappointing weekend in Galway and get back to winning ways at home to Bray Wanderers this Friday.
The Gypsies suffered an uncharacteristic 5-3 defeat in the league and were beaten by a solitary goal after extra time in the EA Sports Cup on Monday, but Long is keen to ensure that the trend doesn’t continue.
“We were disappointed. From our point of view it was a drop from the level the players have set for themselves this season. We made mistakes and were punished – you can’t afford to do that in any game,” said Long.
“It’s one of those things that can happen in football, you can have an off night. But we have to put it behind us, we have to learn the lessons from Friday and ensure that we put in an improved performance against Bray at home.”
After tasting back-to-back defeats for the first time this season, Long insists the players are keen to get back to winning ways against Trevor Croly’s men. “We’re at home, the onus is on us to go out and win the game, and that’s the way we approach it. But we know Bray will be a tough game. They’re scrapping for points, and there’s no easy games in this league.
“I expect them to be well-organised. I watched them last week [against St Pat's] and they defended very well. Obviously a new manager brings new ideas, a new voice in the dressing room, and their players will get a bounce from that.”
The Bohs boss also had a special word for the Dalymount Park fans, who were in great voice in the last home game against Limerick. “It’s massive, I don’t think you can overestimate the importance of the supporters getting behind the team,” said Long.
“It’s vital. Players get a lift when the supporters get behind them and encourage them. In the last 15 minutes against Limerick we played on the front foot and got them excited. We’ve got to try and set the tempo tomorrow, and the supporters play a huge role in that.”
Goalkeeper Dean Delany is suspended following his late red card in the league game against Galway. Bohs have fitness concerns over Derek Pender, Anto Murphy, Dave Mulcahy, Dean Kelly, and Paddy Kavanagh, who will all be assessed before Friday’s game.