Bohemians manager Keith Long by Simon Alcock

SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday 17th July, k-o 8.05pm

Bohemians boss Keith Long is looking for his side to get “back to basics” after a disjointed few weeks which have seen the Gypsies play just two competitive games in the last 34 days.

Bohs face Sligo Rovers this Friday night in front of the Setanta Sports cameras, looking to bounce back from consecutive league defeats against Drogheda United and Longford Town.

“It’s been a bit disjointed in the last few weeks, but it gives us a chance to re-focus and get back to the basics and back to what we did well earlier in the season,” said Long.

“We’ve trained particularly well this week and last week, and hopefully you’ll see that in the performance tomorrow night against Sligo. As disappointing as the defeats were, we can’t dwell on them. We need to look forward, and that’s what we’ve done over the last 13 days.”


While Sligo Rovers have been going through a rough patch, Long still expects a tough game from the Bit O’Red, now managed by former Bohs man Joseph Ndo.

“They’re in a state of flux at the moment, but they’re a full-time team and they have lots of good players. If we’re not on our guard, it could be a difficult night for us,” said Long.

“Joey was one of the great technicians of the League of Ireland, and I have no doubt that he’ll try and play a brand of football that he’s accustomed to.”

At the beginning of the season, many pundits would not have been surprised if the current league positions (5th & 10th) of the two teams was reversed. But the Bohs manager welcomes the new-found expectations that his side’s form has heralded.

“That expectation is there now, and we’ve got to handle that and embrace it. We recognise that the players have done a decent job so far, but we can’t take our foot off the pedal in any way,” said Long.

“The League table doesn’t lie at this stage of the season, we want to kick on, get as many points as we can, and try and finish as high up the table as we can.”

The Gypsies have collected more points on their travels than at Dalymount Park this season, and Long is looking for his side to take the game to the opposition when on home turf.

“It’s a home game. The onus is on us, irrespective of who we’re playing. We’re expected to win, and we want the players to embrace that challenge.”

Bohs will be without the suspended Lorcan Fitzgerald, while Jake Hyland is almost certain to miss out with a groin injury.

Jason Byrne and Dylan Hayes are back in contention after run outs in a friendly against Everton Under 21s on Wednesday. Derek Pender (achilles), Marc Griffin (cruciate) and Dan Byrne (knee) remain on the longer-term injury list.

Website by Simon Alcock