“We want the positivity around the club to continue”

Bohemians Media Day

BOHEMIANS v CABINTEELY
EA Sports Cup
Monday April 1, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm

Bohemians welcome Cabinteely to Dalymount Park tonight with boss Keith Long hoping a much-changed side can progress and build upon recent momentum.

Bohs’ positive start to the season sees them third in the league table – eight points off the top but with two games in hand.

Friday’s Dublin derby 1-0 win against St Patrick’s Athletic saw another bumper crowd at Dalymount Park and Long wants to keep the feelgood factor going.

He said: “We want the positivity around the club to continue and we want to keep building momentum.

“We have had a reasonable start to our league campaign – four wins, two draws and one defeat, keeping five clean sheets along the way.

“It’s still very early days. We want to build on that but we also have to be mindful that we have nine games between tonight and May 3.

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“That means we will have to mix things up a bit with our team selection. But we are in a position where we can trust the strength in depth of our squad.”

Fixture pile-ups have been a bone of contention for many league managers in recent seasons, no more so than Long whose part-time players perhaps feel the strain more than their full-time rivals.

But he is looking at tonight’s game in a positive light and as a chance for players on the fringes of the first team to prove their worth.

They did so the last time Long made wholesale changes to his line-up when Bohs beat Shelbourne 4-1 in the Leinster Senior Cup last month in a team that contained just one started from the side that drew with Derry in the league three days previously.

He said: “Despite the congestion, a game like this is actually probably a good one for us to have as it allows us to give much-needed games to lads who might feel a bit disappointed that they haven’t been involved as much as they would have liked to have been so far.

“It allows lads a chance to step up and remind us what they have to offer and it will be a reward for some our U19s, who have started their season very well once again, and a chance for them to get to experience first-team football too.”

Bohs last won this competition a decade ago with a 3-1 win over Waterford in the RSC. Having come so close to reaching an FAI Cup final last season, Long’s men would love to progress and bring silverware back to Dalymount once more.

He added: “It’s a competition we want to progress in and to win. It would be fantastic to go all the way.

“But it will be a much-changed team who aren’t used to playing with each other coming up against a side who have made a strong start to the season in the First Division, so I wouldn’t be taking them lightly.”

 

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