“We can’t let our performance levels drop”

Keith Long by Michael Ryan

FINN HARPS v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League
Friday July 14th, Finn Park, 8pm

After delivering what Keith Long believes was their best 90-minute performance of the season, Bohemians are determined standards will not drop against Finn Harps tomorrow.

Eighth-placed Harps host seventh-placed Bohs at Finn Park with just five points separating the sides.

Having amassed 10 points from their previous four games, a confident Bohs came unstuck against champions Dundalk eight days ago.

An 89th-minute suckerpunch was all that separated the sides as the Lilywhites made it five wins in a row.

But Bohs earned much praise for their performance and will have been disappointed not to have earned at least a point for their efforts.

Manager Long said: “We had shown in patches in other games what we are capable of but I think that’s the best we’ve played over 90 minutes all season.

“We have to keep searching for that level of performance. The challenge for us now is to replicate that.”

Harps, another team battling for survival, present a different challenge.

Long added: “Finn Harps are obviously in and around us at the moment, so it’s an important game for both teams.

“We cannot afford to let our performance levels drop.

“Harps are a very resilient and determined team. They pick up results and are very effective, so we have to be ready for them.

“Our drive and determination is going to have to match theirs.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohs welcome back Dan Byrne and Oscar Brennan from suspension.

Georgie Poynton, who sat out the Dundalk game due to the terms of his loan arrangement, also returns.

New recruits Ciaran O’Connor (on loan from Dundalk) and Keith Dalton (signed from Dundalk) will go straight into the matchday squad after playing in Saturday’s friendly against FC United of Manchester.

It is hoped that former Sunderland defender Dan Casey, who signed on Tuesday, will also feature in the squad should international clearance come through in time. He also featured against FC United as a trialist.

Bohs will, however, be without skipper Derek Pender (hamstring) and fellow defender Warren O’Hora (illness).

Meanwhile, Jamie Doyle and Kaleem Simon have left the club by mutual consent, while fellow winger Dean Casey has joined Cabinteely until the end of the season to gain first-team experience.

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