“We need to show our character now – on and off the pitch”

Bohemians Media Day

BOHEMIANS v ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
SSE Airtricity League
Sunday July 21, Dalymount Park, 3pm

Match sponsor: Bonobo Bar

Keith Long has told Bohemians to go out and show their real character in this afternoon’s Dublin derby against St Patrick’s Athletic at Dalymount Park.

Bohs are still licking their wounds after a frustrating few days.

An uncharacteristic performance saw them beaten 1-0 away to UCD on Monday, a defeat that was compounded by regrettable post-match scenes between both sets of players and the result being overturned with Collie O’Neill’s side instead being awarded a 3-0 walkover after it emerged the Gypsies fielded a suspended player, Danny Mandroiu.

Mandroiu will instead serve that suspension today alongside skipper Derek Pender, who received a ban for his part in the unnecessary post-match scuffles, which were initiated by UCD goalkeeper Conor Kearns goading and deliberately inciting Bohs fans.

Long was visibly and understandably angry by those scenes¬†and conceded: “Monday wasn’t good enough. We need to show our character now – on and off the pitch. We need to improve our discipline, it has to be better than that. What went on after the game wasn’t good enough, that wasn’t us.

“It was a bad week for all of us in the club. UCD deserved to win. We struggled to break them down. They were well organised and got men behind the ball but our performance was lacking.

“It was to me our worst performance in 12 months, going back to when we lost to Sligo at home last season. We didn’t play to our strengths but perhaps there were some warning signs in previous weeks since the break.

“Maybe this was coming. We needed at last-minute goal to beat Waterford a few weeks ago and our performances in the draws against Derry City and Cork City weren’t where we want them to be.”

But Long is never one to dwell on the past. He had his side knuckle down in training the following day and determined to make amends against St Pat’s who by all accounts impressed in their 2-1 defeat away Norrkoping on Thursday night.

While Long will be without key men in the suspended duo of Pender and Mandroiu, there was some good news with Danny Grant, Rob Cornwall and Aaron Barry all taking part in full training this week and all now available for selection.

Long said: “We have to take our medicine and get on with what we do. We have refocused since Tuesday on St Pat’s, who are a good side and have good players.

“We are missing Derek and Danny but have options elsewhere coming back with the three lads training this week, which is a positive. They’ve had a frustrating time coming back, with a few set-backs along the way, so it’s great we finally have them back and in contention.”

TEAM NEWS

Derek Pender and Danny Mandroiu are suspended.

Aaron Barry (hamstring), Rob Cornwall (Achilles) and Danny Grant (hamstring) all returned to full training this week.

Whether all three will be risked remains to be seen, but all are likely to return to the matchday squad.

Dinny Corcoran (ankle) and Cristian Magerusan (cruciate) remain out.

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