“We want to send the supporters home happy”

SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday September 7, 7.45pm

Bohemians go into Friday’s Dublin derby against Shamrock Rovers determined to give fans something to cheer about.

The Gypsies have suffered successive defeats against Rovers in the sides’ two meetings this year and manager Keith Long wants to set the record straight.

He said: “It’s our last home game of the season and it’s against Shamrock Rovers – we want to send the supporters home happy.

“We won’t need any motivation. The players are determined to give a gutsy and honest performance.


“We performed badly in our last game against them at Dalymount, so we want to make amends for that and it’s our last chance to do so this season.

“We’re looking forward to it. It should be a good spectacle but the most important things is we come out of it with the right result.”

Bohs come into this game on the back of a disappointing 2-1 loss against Bray Wanderers.

Harry Kenny’s Seagulls extended their remarkable run to just one defeat in 15 games. But Long was disappointed with his side’s performance.

He added: “We didn’t play well, particularly in the first half. Individually and collectively, the performance wasn’t right.

“That’s happened too many times this season and we all have to take responsibility for that and put it right.”


Bohs are once again without Ismahil Akinade through illness.

Captain Derek Pender has been suffering with a virus but is expected to be available for selection.

“We can play better”

SSE Airtricity League, Carlisle Grounds, Friday September 30 2016, 7.45pm

Keith Long has urged his Bohemians side to raise their game against Bray Wanderers.

Seventh-placed Bray Wanderers host sixth-placed Bohs at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night.

Just two points separate the sides, with both teams among the chasing pack looking to break into the top five.

In a congested mid-table, there are just five points between Sligo Rovers in fifth and Galway United in ninth.


Bohs come into this game on the back of successive 1-0 victories against Wexford Youths and Longford Town respectively.

But Long feels there is still room for improvement as the Gypsies aim to win three league games in a row for the first time this season.

Long said: “I don’t think we’ve played particularly well in either of those games.

“Once we got the goal, we never looked like conceding. But we didn’t hit the heights we are capable of.

“We got maximum points from two games but the players are conscious that we can play better.

“We are constantly looking to improve and evolve how we play. We are definitely going to have to play better to get anything out in Bray.

“But we’re really looking forward to it. We’re going there with a bit of confidence after two wins and we are in a positive frame of mind.”

Against Harry Kenny’s Seagulls, Bohs are facing one of the league’s in-form teams.

Long added: “Since Harry came in, Bray have been on an upward curve. In Dylan Connolly, they have probably the most in-form player in the league.

“They’ve only lost once in 14 games and that was away to Cork City. That included a 0-0 draw against us, which we were very unlucky not to win.

“You’ve two teams who want to finish the season on a high. It’s not going to be easy but it’s going to be a great battle.”


Goalkeeper Shane Supple (groin) is available again for selection. Striker Izzy Akinade (illness) remains out.


SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday September 23 2016, 7.45pm

Bohemians are in the top half of the table for the first time this season and manager Keith Long has challenged them to stay there.

Monday’s 1-0 over Wexford Youths at Dalymount Park saw the Gypsies jump from ninth place to sixth, leapfrogging Bray Wanderers, St Patrick’s Athletic and Galway United in the process.

Now overtaking Sligo Rovers is in the Gypsies’ sights as Long looks to emulate last season’s fifth-placed league finish.

He said: “We want to stay in the top half – and climb further too. Obviously we’ve played a couple more games than St Pat’s and one more than Galway United.


“But points on the board is the most important thing. We want to finish the season as strongly as we possibly can.”

Victory against Wexford Youths came on the back of successive defeats against league leaders Dundalk and, more disappointingly, Galway United.

Errors at the back cost Bohs in the 2-0 loss away to the Tribesman.

But with a fresh centre-back pairing of Ian Morris and Derek Prendergast, Bohs looked solid in defence on Monday as they claimed their 11th clean sheet in the league this season.

Long said: “Our hand was forced on against Wexford to a certain extent.

“Stephen Best was unavailable due to a problem with his teeth and braces. Three games in eight days might have been a lot to ask of Dan Byrne too.

“Ian Morris came in and he’s an extremely experienced player. We missed Derek Prendergast’s organisational skills down in Galway too.

“It wasn’t a great game but once we got our noses in front, we looked comfortable.”

Known for his regular goal-of-the-season contenders, the game was decided by an uncharacteristic tap-in from Kurtis Byrne.

Long said: “He got a bit of help from the goalkeeper too, he was disappointed with that! We joked afterwards that he needs to get more of those.

“But Kurtis doesn’t need to prove himself to everyone. He’s our top scorer with eight in the league and 14 in all competitions.

“I think at the start of the season he would have been aiming for double figures in the league so there’s plenty of time for him to do that now and more.

“I’ve said before that he’s more of a No 10 than a No 9 but with Izzy Akinade unavailable, he’s been asked to do a different job.”

Bohs face bottom side Longford Town who, last weekend away to Finn Harps, claimed their first victory since the opening day of the season.

Long added: “It was a deserved win for them by all accounts. That will give them renewed confidence.

“They know it’s now or never for them. They’re scrapping for points. We have to be ready for that and can’t be found wanting.”


Izzy Akinade (illness) remains out and is unlikely to feature again this season. Shane Supple (groin) is a doubt, while Stephen Best (dental) returns.

“We have to show a bit of character now”

Dalymount Park, Monday September 19, 7.45pm

Keith Long has told Bohemians to show some character as they look to bounce back from two successive defeats on Monday night.

The Gypsies had accumulated an impressive 10 points from their previous four league outings.

They can count themselves unlucky to have lost out 2-1 to Dundalk a fortnight ago, but can have no complaints about the 2-0 defeat away to Galway United on Friday night.

Long said: “It was a disappointing result and a bitterly disappointing performance.


“We started the game brightly. But we were loose in possession and gave the ball away too easily. It was a bad night all round.”

Victory against Galway would have seen Bohs move up to sixth. Instead, they dropped to ninth.

Long said: “We’ve dropped two places over the weekend. The table doesn’t make for pretty reading at the moment.

“There is not a lot between five or six teams in the league. We need to get back to winning ways and bridge that gap.

“We have to show a bit of character now and go out and give a performance.”

That will be easier said than done against a Wexford Youths side who took a point from their last league game at Dalymount Park in March.

Bohs have had the upper hand since, winning in the league at Ferrycarrig Park and again in the Leinster Senior Cup final at Dalymount Park last month.

Shane Keegan’s are currently second from bottom, six points clear of bottom side Longford Town and four adrift of 10-placed Finn Harps.

Long said: “They are down the bottom scrapping for points. They’ve worked extremely hard to get into this division and they’re working extremely hard to stay in it.

“We’ve got to show some guts and give a committed performance.”

Bohs welcome back Lorcan Fitzgerald and Derek Prendergast from suspension. Izzy Akinade, however, remains a doubt with illness.

Warren O’Hara and Dean Casey, who helped the Under-19s to a 1-0 win against Longford Town yesterday, could again be included in the senior team.

“It’s a good place for us to show what we can do”

SSE Airtricity League, Eamonn Deacy Park, Friday September 16 2016, 7.45pm

Keith Long is targeting a first Bohemian victory away to Galway United since September 2011 as the Gypsies look to stay ahead of tomorrow’s opposition and push up the league table.

Just one point separates Bohs in seventh and the Tribesman in eighth.

Long said: “They’re once place below us in the league, so we have to go down there and get a result.

“There hasn’t been a lot between the sides this season. Between the league and cup, we’ve won one, lost one and drawn one.

“At home, we’ve had the upper hand against them this season and last. But we want to redress our record away from home.

“We lost our last game out there 1-0. But it was a scrappy game ruined by the conditions.


“It’s a great surface out there now, so it’s a good place for us to go and show what we can do. If we play like we did against St Pat’s in our last away game, we can get a result.”

Before the home defeat against Dundalk a fortnight ago, Bohs were on a run of 10 points from 12 and were unlucky not to extend that unbeaten sequence against the champions and league leaders.

Long said: “We played well in the second half. But that was after we went 2-0 down and obviously you have to ask why we got ourselves in that position in the first place.

“The plan was to take the game to them from the start. Perhaps we were guilty of giving them a little bit too much respect early on.

“We didn’t get enough pressure on the ball in the first half. We changed things around in the second half and started it much better.

“We were perhaps a little naive in not contesting the drop ball that led to Dundalk’s second goal.

“But we showed great character to get back into it. We brought on a second striker in Jake Kelly and went 4-4-2 to give Kurtis Byrne a bit more support.

“That gave us a bit more threat and momentum up front. We brought the game to them and got back into it with a great goal from Kurtis.

“The players and supporters responded to that – the atmosphere was great from both sets of fans. We attacked in droves and were very unlucky not to get the equaliser.”

Byrne’s sensational strike against his former club followed successful free-kicks in the previous two league games against St Patrick’s Athletic and Sligo Rovers.

With seven league goals to his name and 13 in all competitions, he is the club’s top goalscorer this season.

With Ismahil Akinade ruled out through illness in recent weeks, Byrne has found himself in the unfamiliar position of being the team’s main striker.

But it is the quality – not quantity – of his goals that has become a talking point.

Long added: “Kurtis is a scorer of spectacular goals. He has certain qualities that other players in this league don’t have.

“To be fair, he’s started more games than he hasn’t. But he can play and has played in a variety position across the front four, so doesn’t usually lead the line.

“We haven’t always had the clean bill of health required to try Izzy and Kurtis as a No 9 and No 10 pairing this season.

“But Izzy’s absence has seen Kurtis come in at No 9. There are some flaws in his game, so we’ve changed our shape subtly to accommodate him in that position.

“But he has a good work-rate and he’s come in and done very well for us.”


Bohs are once again without Akinade through illness, but are hopeful he may be ready again for Monday’s visit of Wexford Youths to Dalymount Park.

The Gypsies must also plan without defenders Derek Prendergast and Lorcan Fitzgerald through suspension. But skipper Derek Pender returns after a three-week lay-off with a thigh injury.

Under-19 team starlets Warren O’Hora and Dean Casey will again be included in the first-team squad.

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