Preview: Bohemians v Derry City

Alan Reynolds says Bohemians need a big night at Dalymount Park tomorrow if they are to get back to winning ways before the mid-season break.

International call-ups saw last week’s Dublin derbies against Shelbourne and Shamrock Rovers postponed so Reynolds’ men are refreshed and relishing taking on title-chasing Derry City.

To avoid a clash with the opening night of the European Championships, all of this week’s League of Ireland fixtures take place on Thursday night, with Bohs not in action again until the Friday June 28 Dublin derby away to St Patrick’s Athletic.

Tomorrow will be the third meeting between Bohs and the Candystripes this season with Reynolds determined to finish on a high before the league takes a mid-season break.

Goals from Dayle Rooney and James Akintunde gave Bohs a 2-1 victory over Ruaidhrí Higgins’ men when the sides met at Dalymount in March.

But Reynolds’ side were left cursing squandered opportunities in the reverse fixture at the Brandywell last month when Michael Duffy’s goal five minutes from time was enough for the hosts to claim all three points.

Reynolds said: “We need a really big night and a really big shift from everyone at Dalymount as we are expecting a tough game against a really good side.

“We know plenty about Derry and they know plenty about us. We’ve beaten them here before I came in and they’ve beaten us in the Brandywell.

“But we played well against them, and had chances to get a result. There has been very little between the sides but Derry have come into a bit of form now.

“They are only two points off the top of the table so we are under no illusions about how difficult this game is going to be and how hard we are going to have to work to get a result.”

Bohs’ last outing saw them succumb to a 2-1 defeat away to Reynolds’ former club Waterford at the RSC a fortnight ago.

They went into that game looking like they had turned a corner – buoyed by an encouraging injury-time 2-2 draw against St Patrick’s Athletic and a 3-0 win away to Sligo Rovers – so the result and the performance were of frustration for Reynolds.

He said: “We played well for 25 to 30 minutes but we weren’t good enough after that, and we failed to deal with Waterford’s direct play. But that has been the story of our season so far and it has to change. We need to have consistency.”

Those inconsistency issues predate Reynolds’ arrival to the club in March, and he is determined to make changes to his squad when the transfer window opens next month in an effort to address it.

One man who will not be part of those plans is Bart Kukulowicz, who has returned to Poland after his contract was terminated by mutual consent, while Luke Matheson is due to return to parent club Bolton Wanderers next week when his loan spell comes to an end.

Reynolds added: “Bart hasn’t been in the team as often as he would have liked this year, so we both felt that it was the right time for him to move on and find a new club. We thank him for his efforts and I wish him all the best for the future.

“We all know that we need to strengthen next month. We have some very good players at the club but there are clearly certain areas where we have to improve if we are to push on.

“We have watched a lot of players and we have spoken to a lot of players. It is an extremely competitive market out there for all clubs at the moment but we know the areas we need to prioritise.”

Team news

Declan McDaid is a doubt while James McManus (foot), Brian McManus (ankle), Keith Buckley (knee) and Rob Cornwall (knee) remain out.

Preview: Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers

Bohemians manager Ken Kiernan says his players are still on a high after the reception they received at last month’s historic game against Palestine.

Now they are hoping for another packed crowd for tomorrow’s Dublin Derby at Dalymount Park when they host Shamrock Rovers in the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division.

Last month’s international solidarity friendly saw the sold-out signs go up for the first time for a Bohemians women’s fixture.

Kiernan says the importance of the occasion will live long in the memory of his players, whose focus has now turned to redoubling their efforts to climb back up the league table.

He said: “All of our players recognise the gravity of the situation in Gaza, the historical significance of the game and the importance of the reception that the Palestinian players got when they came.

“The whole occasion meant a lot to our players – it was huge for everyone associated with the club. The run-up to the game and the game itself really set something off, and really captured the imagination of people.

“There were people all over the world talking about the game and, for our players, it was the first time that they had an opportunity to play in front of a sold-out Dalymount, which was brilliant for them.

“You could see after the game how they were buzzing, how they thrived on the reception of the crowd and on what it all meant to the Palestinian players. We were proud to be part of that.

“There was already a great sense of pride in this team pulling on that jersey but the reception the players have had since the Palestine game has brought that sense of pride to another level. They have really felt the love for the club that is out there.

“That buzz has continued since – tomorrow is our first game back in Dalymount since and we have been inundated with well wishes in the community.

“It is important to have that connection. Our players are real ambassadors in the community. They are in with different age groups in schools every week and it is important that young children, in particular young girls, have female sportspeople to look up to and to learn from, and that our players know that this club means something to them.

“Our players are fast-becoming role models for these children – they talk about their set-backs, and their determination to succeed. It’s important for the children but it’s just as important for our players.”

Tomorrow, Kiernan is hoping to harness that positive energy as his side go in search of victory against the club’s biggest rivals.

Shamrock Rovers entered the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division last year for the first time and finished third in their debut season.

Seven games into the 2024 season, Rovers are still in search of their first victory but Kiernan knows it will be a tough game.

He added: We all know the significance of this game. Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers is the biggest rivalry in Irish football.

“Rovers are a good side. I went to their last game against Galway United. They lost the game 1-0 but they went toe-to-toe with the team that is top of the league.

“For our part, our last few performances have been good and we are improving. I expect a very energetic game and, given the playing styles of both teams, I think there will be lots of chances so we will need to defend well.

“We have prepared very well for the game, and have worked on where we think we can exploit Rovers and where we need to work hard defensively. It’s been a very positive few weeks and we want to build on that now.”

Preview: Waterford v Bohemians

Alan Reynolds wants Bohemians to build on a positive fortnight when they travel to take on his hometown club Waterford this evening.

Bohs followed up a 3-0 win away to Sligo Rovers two weeks ago with a last-minute equaliser from Danny Grant to draw 2-2 with St Patrick’s Athletic last Friday.

Reynolds was disappointed to see his side behind in that game in the first place – mistakes at the back costing Bohs dear in an otherwise encouraging performance.

He said: “We are really looking forward to this game. We’ve had an encouraging couple of weeks but we know we need to keep that going now

“We had a very good win down in Sligo and I felt we had a good performance against St Pat’s too.

“We shouldn’t have been behind in the first place, and we were disappointed that we were, but the pleasing aspect of it was that we never gave up.

“They had worked hard in training all week and didn’t want to come away empty-handed and I think that showed in how we kept pushing and pushing to get an equaliser.

“I was delighted for Danny to get the goal. You could see it meant a lot to him. He’s chomping at the bit to play and to get a chance. Hopefully this can spur him on now to have a strong second half of the season.”

Tonight’s trip to the RSC poses another big test for Bohs. It is Reynolds’ first game away to his former club since taking the reins at Dalymount Park at the end of March.

Waterford is a club he played for and managed and, most recently, served as assistant manager to Keith Long.

Waterford came out on top of a 1-0 scoreline when the sides met in Dalymount at the beginning of April but that was only Reynolds’ third game in charge and he feels his side are in better shape now.

He added: “Waterford are a very good side. I obviously know a lot about them, and helped to sign a good few of them too!

“But for us it is about focusing on our own performance. We still have a lot of work to do and improvements to make but I think we are further down the road to where we want to be than when we last played Waterford.

“A lot of work has gone into training this week, it will be a very different game to our last couple of games, but the lads are well prepared and looking forward to it.”

Team news

James Clarke returns from suspension but James McManus (foot) joins Brian McManus (ankle), Keith Buckley (knee) and Rob Cornwall (knee) on the sidelines.

Luke Matheson, Jordan Flores and Dayle Rooney, who all saw their gametime against St Pat’s curtailed with knocks, are available for selection.

Preview: Bohemians v St Patrick’s Athletic

Alan Reynolds wants to see Dalymount Park rocking once more when Bohemians host St Patrick’s Athletic in another big Dublin derby on Friday night.

Bohs come into the game after a comprehensive 3-0 victory away to Sligo Rovers thanks to goals from James Clarke, Boubacar Keita and Dayle Rooney.

That was Bohs’ biggest win since Reynolds took charge at the end of March, their biggest league win since the final game of last season and their biggest league win away from home since April 2022.

Rooney was the star of the show, setting up the opening two goals before helping himself to the third, but is set to miss out on Friday’s game through injury while Clarke, who claimed his opener last week just 90 seconds into the game, is suspended.

Reynolds said: “We are missing a few for this one which is a blow for such a big game. Keith Buckley and Rob Cornwall are obviously long-term ones and Brian McManus will be out for another month or so.

“But we’re without Dayle Rooney for this one now too which is a blow because he was involved in all three goals last week and is a big threat for us.

“Jordan Flores, who has been such an important player for us this season, is still out as is Luke Matheson, and James Clarke is suspended, so we are down a lot of bodies for such a big game.”

With that in mind, Reynolds is acutely aware how hard his side will have to work to get a result but believes the absentee list provides an opportunity for others to step up and show what they are made of.

Reynolds: “When you have players missing there is added pressure on players who come in to step up. We had that last week. With Bucko, Rob and Jordan all out last week, it was the first time Paddy Kirk captained the side.

“That was a big moment for him having come through and captained the U19s at Bohs, so I was very pleased with how he stepped up and that we got the win with him as captain. We need to see that level of commitment from everyone who gets an opportunity to play.”

 

Despite only taking charge at Inchicore last week, former Ireland and Bohemians manager Stephen Kenny has already had two games under his belt.

Both have ended in defeat but St Pat’s will have been kicking themselves not to have taken something out of Monday’s game against league leaders Shelbourne, who scored in the sixth minute of injury-time to claim a 2-1 victory at Richmond Park.

Reynolds said: “St Pat’s are a good side. Much like Bohs, they haven’t had the start they wanted this season but it is a very close and congested league table, and there is a lot more football to play.

“Stephen is barely there a week, and wouldn’t have had a lot of time to work with the team until this week but he will have learnt a lot from his team over their past two games.

“Pat’s are a good side. They finished third last year and won the FAI Cup and you don’t become a bad team overnight.

“They have quality players who can hurt any team in this league so we will need to be at our very best to get a result against them.”

Reynolds is hoping though that fans in Dalymount can replicate the vocal levels of support his side received in the Showgrounds last week.

He added: “The support we had down in Sligo was brilliant, and that’s what we will need again for a game like this against a team as good as St Pat’s.

“We have seen in games this season that when the crowd is behind us, our players are spurred on by that.

“Our players know that there is an onus on them to perform at home but we all have our jobs to do, and we need our fans to be loud and on our side right from the start.”

Team news

Bohemians are without the injured Jordan Flores, Dayle Rooney, Luke Matheson, Brian McManus, Rob Cornwall and Keith Buckley. James Clarke is suspended.

Preview: Sligo Rovers v Bohemians

Alan Reynolds has told his players to focus on performances and the results will come.

Bohemians travel to the Showgrounds this evening to take on Sligo Rovers on the back of two 1-0 defeats last week, to Galway United on Monday and Derry City on Friday.

Reynolds was bitterly disappointed by his side’s performance at home to Galway, but noted a marked improvement despite coming home empty-handed from their trip to the Brandywell.

Reynolds said: “It was a much better performance. I’ve told the players that that’s what we need to focus on. We need to keep on improving our performances and I believe if we continue to work hard on that, then results will come.

“We’ve had a very positive week in training, and are working hard to right the wrongs in our performances. I can’t fault their effort.

“We need to be more clinical in front of goal. Obviously we hit the crossbar and James Akintunde had a great opportunity. He was unlucky, but he has scored some very important goals before and is an important player for us.”

Reynolds says his side will be up against it to get back to winning ways, adding: “Sligo are a good team with a very good young manager. They’re solid, particularly when playing at home, so we know we will have to be at our very best.”

Team news

Paddy Kirk returns from suspension but Jordan Flores will sit this one out. Bohemians continue to be without long-term absentees Brian McManus, Keith Buckley and Rob Cornwall.

 

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