“Our job is to make them believe they can achieve”

Bohemians manager Keith Long by Simon Alcock

SSE Airtricity League, Brandywell, Friday 23 October, 7.45pm

Bohemians go the Brandywell where sixth host fifth who are in pursuit of fourth. The “outside chance” of qualifying for Europe is helping to drive on Bohemians, according to manager Keith Long.

But he gives “huge credit” to the players and compliments “good characters” in the dressing room for maintaining a strong team spirit right to the end of the season.

“We have tried to create an environment where there are no excuses and the players have bought into that,” said Long.

“They take ownership of their performances and of their training. It comes down to their application and attitude. Our job is to make them believe they can achieve, and we have done that for most of the season.”


“We’re going into the game against Derry with an outside chance of getting into Europe, and most fair-minded people would have accepted that [for Bohemians] at the start of the season. Still, doing OK is not good enough for a club like Bohemians and we want to continue to improve. “

Derry are just one place, but 15 points, behind Bohemians in the league table. They have strengthened their side since the summer and are on a good run.

“Anyone who thinks we are going up to Derry for an easy game is mistaken,” said Long. “We beat them 4-2 in Dalymount in one of the strangest games of the year. After we scored four goals in ten minutes Derry dominated the game.

“They are in flying form and they have secured their Premier Division status. So, they will play with an element of freedom,” said Long.

“I expect a good game. I expect both teams to go for it, and the players to go out and express themselves. But it will be a difficult game. It’s never easy up in Derry.”

Bohemians go there unbeaten in six league games and having kept a clean sheet in the last two. “From a defensive point of view we can’t ask for more,” said Long. “Dean [Delany] has been consistent, as he has been throughout the season, and he has pulled off important saves at critical times.

“In the absence of Lorcan Fitzgerald, Derek Prendergast and Stephen Best in the back four, Dave Mulcahy has had to slot back in there alongside Anto Murphy and these guys have huge experience, and they have been excellent.”

For Friday, Derek Prendergast and James O’Brien return from injury but Lorcan Fitzgerald remains out and Roberto Lopes is suspended. Stephen Best is recovering but he is unlikely to be available this weekend, though he may return for the final game of the season.

Website by Simon Alcock