“WE’LL BE HOPING FOR A REACTION”

Bohemians manager Keith Long by Simon Alcock

Limerick FC v Bohemians
SSE Airtricity League, Markets Field, Saturday 8 August, 6.30pm

Bohemians go south again, aiming to wipe the memory of last week’s defeat in Cork. Having gone down 4-0 to title-chasers Cork City, Bohemians face bottom-of-the-table Limerick, fresh from their first win of the season.

Manager Keith Long was deeply disappointed with Bohemians’ display in Turner’s Cross, describing it as “our worst performance this season”.

“We had a discussion among ourselves and some home truths were told, and we’ll be hoping for a reaction on Saturday,” Long said.

“We let ourselves down last Friday. When you don’t turn up and you don’t play your normal game, you’re going to be punished. We carried too many players, we didn’t play with tempo and intensity, and it was unlike us.

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“It confirmed what we knew already: individually and collectively, we have to be right on top of our game to get results.”

With a depleted squad going to Cork, Long put Jake Kelly into the line-up just over 24 hours after the 25-year-old forward completed his signing from Dundalk.

The manager knew what he could expect of his recruit, having worked with him at Bray, and entrusted him with corners and free-kicks despite Kelly not having trained with the squad.

One of Kelly’s efforts on goal, early in the second half, hit the cross-bar. “If that had gone in, the dynamic of the game changes, and we are back in it. But overall we have no complaints. We got what we deserved from the game, which was nothing,” said Long.

“Jake’s got good quality and he’ll benefit from those 80 minutes. He hasn’t played from the start too often this season. When he integrates with the group fully and gets up to match fitness, you’ll see what he can contribute.”

Twenty-eight points behind Bohemians in the league table, Limerick will battle for anything they can get from the game. “Martin [Russell] has made changes and brought in new faces and, with the win over Sligo, the mood in their camp has got to be good. We’re wary of the threat that Limerick pose,” said Long.

Bohemians began the present campaign in March with a 3-0 win at Limerick’s temporary home, Jackman Park, but two months later needed a late goal from Jason Byrne to clinch a 2-1 win over Limerick at Dalymount.

For Saturday, Anto Murphy and Paddy Kavanagh make a “welcome” return to the squad following suspension. Lorcan Fitzgerald’s recovery from hamstring injury has been slower than anticipated and he is likely to miss this game. Derek Pender, Dan Byrne and Marc Griffin are out for the longer term.

Website by Simon Alcock