DERRY CITY v BOHEMANS
Friday October 14, 7.45pm
Keith Long has urged Bohemians to give a repeat of last week’s derby performance when they travel to The Brandywell on Friday.
Roberto Lopes’ goal at Dalymount Park capped off a confident display to claim the bragging rights against rivals Shamrock Rovers for the first time this season.
And manager Long doesn’t want those standards to drop as the Gypsies look to finish the season on a high.
Long said: “It was a great performance.
“It was a huge crowd and we had great support from our fans. They were right behind us and they gave the team that extra bit of confidence.
“They fed off that and, to a man, the players were excellent.
“It shows what we are capable of and the level of performance we have been striving to achieve.
“We could have won by more and it would have been nice to get a few extra goals that the performance deserved.
“But to get a win was the most important thing. It would have been tough to swallow another defeat against them.”
The challenge now is to maintain that standard as Bohs face into a tough set of fixtures to finish off the season.
All three of the Gypsies’ remaining games are away from home against Derry City, Dundalk and Finn Harps respectively.
Long said: “We need to match that level of commitment up in Derry. If we don’t, it could be a long night.
“To finish the season with three away games isn’t easy. But we’re sixth now and we don’t want to drop down the table.”
Going into last week’s derby victory, Bohs had failed to register a point against the Hoops this season.
Similarly, they face a Candystripes team on Friday who have beaten them at every opportunity this season.
Long added: “We haven’t had it our way against Derry this season. Last year we had the upper hand, beating them three times.
“This year they’ve beaten us twice in the league and knocked us out of the cup.
“There hasn’t been a lot between the sides in those games. But we have to approach this game on its own merits and go out and go out and give it all we’ve got.”
Ismahil Akinade (illness) remains out for the rest of the season, while Roberto Lopes is suspended.
There are doubts over Stephen Best and Dan Byrne (both illness).[/toggle