“We’ve got to make sure we leave nothing on the pitch”

Bohemians manager Keith Long by Simon Alcock

BOHEMIANS v GALWAY UTD
SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday 14 August, 7.45pm

Bohemians are aiming to become hard to beat again as they look to stop a sudden decline in form.

“Scoring three goals away should be good enough to win any game on the road,” said manager Keith Long as he and his squad worked on regaining the tight organisation that secured so many clean sheets.

Having had a strong defensive record for much of the season, Bohemians have conceded ten goals in three matches.

“To concede four goals in two consecutive away games just isn’t good enough and we have worked hard this week to make sure we tighten things up defensively,” said Long.

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“The players recognise where we have to improve. We’ve got to get back to being difficult to beat. The last couple of games we’ve been very open to play against, and that’s something we’ll try to solve.”

Long had always anticipated there would be “low moments as well as high moments” and he is looking to “hard work” and “a strong performance” from the players to secure a win on Friday and ensure more high moments.

The Bohemian manager saluted the fans who continue to “believe in the honesty of this group”, and particularly those who made the journeys to Cork and Limerick.

“We didn’t give them value for money and we’ve got to build back that trust with them on Friday night. We’ve got to make sure we leave nothing on the pitch.”

Long insisted that Bohemians still have a lot to play for in the league despite their position between the groups above and below them, with a six-point margin on one side and nine-point gap on the other.

“We’ve got to win every match we possibly can. We owe that to the supporters, to the club and to ourselves,” he said. “The club is moving forward on and off the pitch and we’re not going to carry anyone who doesn’t buy into what we’re trying to do.”

Bohs’ 4-3 defeat in Limerick last weekend had a strange echo of a result last May against Friday’s opponents, Galway United.

Having started the league campaign conceding only seven goals in 12 games, Bohemians scored three but let in five in Galway.

That night, Derek Pender was missing and, last Friday, he and Lorcan Fitzgerald were both out. “We’re making no excuses but we have really missed our full-backs. These are two of the best full-backs in the country,” said Long.

He has had to shuffle his back line repeatedly due to Pender’s absence since June, then Anto Murphy’s injury and his later suspension and, more recently, Fitzgerald’s hamstring injury.
For this Friday, Fitzgerald returns, as does Eoin Wearen, who was out last weekend with an ankle injury from the Cork game two weeks ago.

Goalkeeper Lee Steacy returns to the squad having missed last weekend due to a training injury on his hand.

Website by Simon Alcock