“WE HAVE TO TEST OURSELVES”

Bohemians manager Keith Long by Simon Alcock

CORK CITY v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League, Turner’s Cross, Friday 31 July, 8pm

Bohemians face a “tough challenge” in Cork following two home victories in the league. The record of recent games between the two sides is strongly in Bohemians’ favour but manager Keith Long insists the form is reset when each game is started.

He regards Cork City as serious contenders for the league title, especially following a 1-1 draw last weekend against leaders Dundalk. “In my view Cork marginally shaded that game,” Long said.

“They have good players, experienced players, international players.They are a top side and it’s a tough challenge, but we have to go down there and test ourselves against them. If we’re organised and disciplined we have a chance of picking up points.”

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Despite the flurry of first-half goals and eventual 4-2 victory over Derry last weekend, Long expects more of his players.

“It was a chance to put a team to the sword, which we haven’t done. Derry were frail at the back and we exposed them ruthlessly in a 10-minute spell, but we went out of the game for long periods.

“It was a chance to improve our goal difference and we didn’t capitalise on that. But ultimately we are judged on the three points. It was a win and we can’t be too disappointed.”

Long was pleased with the success, yet again, of a Bohemians set-piece, which led to the first goal, and with how his team dealt with the loss of Ismahil Akinade at the end of the first half and later playing for 12 minutes with ten men, while Paddy Kavanagh was being treated for a facial injury.

For Friday Bohemians must prepare without Anto Murphy and Kavanagh, both suspended. Murphy completes his two-game ban for a red card, and Kavanagh misses one game for accumulated yellow cards.

Lorcan Fitzgerald (hamstring), is rated a 50/50 chance to be available. So too is Akinade (shoulder), who took a heavy fall in last week’s defeat of Derry City. Dan Byrne and Marc Griffin are out with long-term injuries.

Website by Simon Alcock