“the priorities for both teams is always the result”

3024-Bucko & Paddy Kavanagh

SHAMROCK ROVERS v BOHEMIANS
Friday April 13, Tallaght Stadium, 8pm

Earlier this week, Bohemians players and management bonded over hot curries.

Tomorrow night, things will get considerably spicier as the Gypsies travel to Tallaght Stadium for the second Dublin Derby of the season against Shamrock Rovers.

On Tuesday night after training, Keith Long’s backroom team and players met for a sit-down meal.

The occasion was to officially mark the club’s new partnership with Camile Thai Phibsborough – a restaurant literally a stone’s throw from Dalymount Park.

They could handle the heat there and now the more daunting challenge is to do so once again in the ever soaring temperatures of a tasty derby battle.

​Bohs kicked off the 2018 season by coming from behind to beat Shamrock Rovers 3-1 in Dalymount Park in February.

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Trips to Tallaght, however, have proven considerably more difficult since the Hoops moved there in 2009.

Just twice in those nine years have the Gypsies come away with three points from the Dublin 24 venue.

The first win didn’t arrive until 2012 when Kevin Devaney – back at the club this season – netted the only goal of the game.

The second came at the sides’ last meeting there in 2017 when goals from Dinny Corcoran and Ismahil Akinade finally gave travelling Bohs fans the bragging rights once more.

Undeterred, manager Long said: “Previous results against Rovers will have little bearing on this one.

“Previous meetings, form, your position in the table… they can go out the window. It can come down to which side wants it more.

“It’s not always the prettiest spectacle, the priorities for both teams is always the result.

“Rovers will have been hurting after us coming from behind to beat them the last time so as a team, we have to be prepared for a backlash.

“But our focus has to be on ourselves and our own performance.

“We expect a big vocal travelling crowd and both team and supporters will be looking to get the result.”

To do so, Bohs will be looking to build on their first clean sheet of the season, which came in last week’s 0-0 draw against Limerick at Dalymount Park.

But they know they will also need to be sharper in front of goal too – the Gypsies played some tidy football and created several chances but were frustratingly kept scoreless.

That game also ruled Dan Casey – two-goal hero against Rovers in February – out of tomorrow’s rematch as he recovers after suffering concussion.

Long added: “We dominated the game and our performance deserved to get all three points.

“We created chances, we put the ball into good areas but we couldn’t find that final touch.

“In many ways, it was probably our most complete performance of the season. If we can play like that every week, we’ll give ourselves a chance.”

TEAM NEWS

Dan Casey is ruled out after suffering concussion against Limerick.

He joins Oscar Brennan (ankle), Philly Gannon (hamstring) and long-term absentees Cristian Magerusan (metatarsal) and Ryan Swan (cruciate) on the sidelines.

Skipper Derek Pender (calf) trained this week but is regarded as a doubt as are Dan Byrne (groin) and John Ross Wilson (illness).

But Rob Cornwall (back), Paddy Kavanagh (hamstring) and Kevin Devaney (virus) come back into contention.

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