“We can’t shy away from where we are”

Keith Long by Michael Ryan

​CORK CITY v BOHEMIANS
Friday June 15 2018, Turner’s Cross, 7.45pm

Keith Long has told Bohemians they need more than fighting spirit to steer clear of danger this season.

A below-par performance in last week’s 2-1 defeat to Derry City leaves the Gypsies in seventh place, three points above the play-off zone.

Things don’t get any easier as they travel to Turner’s Cross to face top-of-the-table Cork City.

Long said: “Cork is a very tough place to go. We’re playing against the champions and they’re a really strong side.

“It was a disappointing performance last Friday and a tough defeat to take.

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“But we’re not going down feeling sorry for ourselves – we’re going down with the aim of getting something from the game.”

Bohs’ fighting spirit this season has been rightly lauded.

They have come from behind to earn points seven times – three wins (Shamrock Rovers twice and Bray) and four draws (Limerick twice, St Pat’s and Shamrock Rovers).

But last Friday it was too little, too late. JJ Lunney’s 86th-minute goal gave the Gypsies a sniff of snatching a point.

But the damage was already done in the first half when Derry scored twice in the space of three minutes and Bohs struggled to get back into the game thereafter.

Such defensive frailties have seen the Gypsies fall behind in games far too often for Long’s liking.

He said: “We can’t shy away from where we are.

“We need to be better from the start and stop giving ourselves an uphill battle in every game

“We’ve been praised for our fighting spirit this season but people who went to Dalymount last week would not have seen that from us.

“We need to build on having a never-say-die attitude anyway. We have to become more difficult to play against and stop conceding.

“If we keep things tight at the back, we’re in completely different territory. We have a chance of nicking a goal and getting a result.”

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Both Darragh Leahy (knee) and Karl Moore (ankle) are back training but this game will come too soon for them.

They are targeting a return after the mid-season break when St Patrick’s Athletic come to Dalymount Park on June 29.

Cristian Magerusan (metatarsal) and Ryan Swan (cruciate) remain out.

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