Preview: Shelbourne v Bohemians

Bohemians v Waterford - SSE Airtricity Men's Premier Division

Alan Reynolds has encouraged Bohemians fans to stick with his side and give them a lift when they make the short trip to take on Shelbourne at Tolka Park.

Bohs have had an up and down start to their 2024 campaign with three wins, a draw and four defeats from their opening eight games.

Tonight’s opponents, however, have been the surprise package this term and sit six points clear at the top of the table and remain unbeaten with six wins and three draws from their opening nine games.

But it is still very early days – as Bohs found after their own blistering start last season – and Reynolds is backing his side to improve.

He said: “When you work for a big Dublin club like Bohs you realise how important all derby games are to the fans.

“Shelbourne have really good players who are playing very well at the moment. They are top of the league for a reason, so we have to respect them as they have really good players who have shown they can hurt teams.

“But from our point of view, the most important thing is getting ourselves right. We have to deal with their attacking threats but we have to make sure we are an attacking threat ourselves.”

Reynolds says Bohs cannot have a repeat of last week’s game against Waterford where he felt they wasted possession in the opening half before giving away a cheap goal that allowed Keith Long’s side a platform to sit back and see out victory.

Reynolds said: “We didn’t start well, which was very frustrating given how well we started against Galway on Monday. We need to start like that every game but against Waterford we weren’t good enough.

“We gave away a cheap goal and that is something we have to rectify and have been working on because it gave Waterford the platform to change how they play and approach the game because they had a lead to cling on to.

“We’ve learned a lot over the last couple of weeks but we have to be better and work a lot harder than we did. We had our chances though but ultimately it was a frustrating night and we have to do better.”

Despite that frustration, Reynolds believes he has a side capable of improving and encouraged Bohs fans to get behind them and give them time.

He added: “The players need support and we need our fans to stick with us. There is obviously frustration this season, and we obviously all understand that.

“But we have some very good young players here, and a lot of new players too, who I feel can thrive if the fans stick with them as I have no doubt they will in what is a massive game now tonight.”

Team news

Dylan Connolly is a doubt. Keith Buckley and Rob Cornwall remain out.

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