“We’re positive going into another big game”

Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

LIMERICK v BOHEMIANS
SSE AIRTRICITY LEAGUE
Markets Field, Friday June 1 2018, 7.45pm

Bohemians go to Markets Field tomorrow positive, refreshed and determined to put some distance between themselves and Limerick in the table.

A late goal against Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount Park last week saw them extend their unbeaten run in the Dublin derby to four games.

Having fallen behind in the 82nd minute, Rob Cornwall’s leveller two minutes from time saw the Gypsies salvage a point from a game they did not deserve to lose.

Manager Keith Long said: “There wasn’t a huge amount between the sides. It wasn’t a game of great quality but we dug it out after going a goal down.

“We would have felt aggrieved had we not got something out of it. It means we’re positive going into another big game this weekend.”

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Against Tommy Barrett’s Limerick, Bohs face a side just three points behind them – albeit they have played a game more – and who they have already drawn with twice this season.

Long said: “The table doesn’t lie. There has been very little between ourselves and them, although we were a bit frustrated we didn’t go on and win it when they came to Dalymount.

“It’s a big game for us. We want to extend the distance between us and the teams below us.”

This is the third Friday running that Bohs have finally been able to settle into the normal routine of one game a week.

It’s a far cry from earlier in the season, which saw Long’s side play eight midweek fixtures in all competitions in a bizarrely front-loaded fixture list.

Long said: “It was a talking point for managers throughout the league. Fatigue and lack of recovery time all added up.

“But we’ve had a nice settled run and routine now the last three weeks. We’ve had another good week’s training now and a clear run focused on tomorrow’s game.

“The heavy schedule affected our team selections.

“You have players – the likes of Rob Cornwall with his back – who have ongoing niggles who can’t always play Friday, Monday, Friday, Monday.

“We lost our captain Derek Pender to injury because of the amount of games we were playing too.

“That was a massive loss. I made him captain when I came to the club and he’s captain for a reason. We missed his leadership on the pitch while he was out.

“But he’s back now. He was pushing for a start last week. He was desperate to play but I didn’t want to be killing him! He’s certainly in contention again tomorrow.”

In Detser’s place, Shane Supple has worn the captain’s armband.

The goalkeeper has had a busy week having been called up for Ireland’s friendly games against France last Monday and the USA this Saturday.

He didn’t see any game-time in Paris but Long is hopeful the 31-year-old will be rewarded against the States in the Aviva Stadium in two days’ time.

Long added: “Shane is pleased with how he’s got on in training and in training games. You’d like to think he will get a chance to show what he can do.

“It’s possible that our game in Limerick will be in the thoughts of Martin O’Neill.

“But goalkeeper is a specialist position. He’s not running around the place.

“Playing 90 minutes the night before is not going to overly affect his ability to play again on Saturday evening.

“I’m sure the Ireland management team have seen his qualities.

“They will do what they feel is right, but obviously all of us at Bohemians would love to see him play. He deserves that recognition.”

TEAM NEWS

Oscar Brennan misses out through suspension.

Derek Pender (calf), who returned to the matchday squad last week, could replace Keith Buckley (groin) who is a doubt.

Colin McCabe (shoulder), Karl Moore (ankle), Darragh Leahy (knee), Cristian Magerusan (metatarsal) and Ryan Swan (cruciate) remain out.

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