“We can’t shy away from where we are”

Friday June 15 2018, Turner’s Cross, 7.45pm

Keith Long has told Bohemians they need more than fighting spirit to steer clear of danger this season.

A below-par performance in last week’s 2-1 defeat to Derry City leaves the Gypsies in seventh place, three points above the play-off zone.

Things don’t get any easier as they travel to Turner’s Cross to face top-of-the-table Cork City.

Long said: “Cork is a very tough place to go. We’re playing against the champions and they’re a really strong side.

“It was a disappointing performance last Friday and a tough defeat to take.


“But we’re not going down feeling sorry for ourselves – we’re going down with the aim of getting something from the game.”

Bohs’ fighting spirit this season has been rightly lauded.

They have come from behind to earn points seven times – three wins (Shamrock Rovers twice and Bray) and four draws (Limerick twice, St Pat’s and Shamrock Rovers).

But last Friday it was too little, too late. JJ Lunney’s 86th-minute goal gave the Gypsies a sniff of snatching a point.

But the damage was already done in the first half when Derry scored twice in the space of three minutes and Bohs struggled to get back into the game thereafter.

Such defensive frailties have seen the Gypsies fall behind in games far too often for Long’s liking.

He said: “We can’t shy away from where we are.

“We need to be better from the start and stop giving ourselves an uphill battle in every game

“We’ve been praised for our fighting spirit this season but people who went to Dalymount last week would not have seen that from us.

“We need to build on having a never-say-die attitude anyway. We have to become more difficult to play against and stop conceding.

“If we keep things tight at the back, we’re in completely different territory. We have a chance of nicking a goal and getting a result.”


Both Darragh Leahy (knee) and Karl Moore (ankle) are back training but this game will come too soon for them.

They are targeting a return after the mid-season break when St Patrick’s Athletic come to Dalymount Park on June 29.

Cristian Magerusan (metatarsal) and Ryan Swan (cruciate) remain out.

“We have to play to our maximum”

Friday June 8 2018, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm

Keith Long has told Bohemians they need to be at the top of their game when Derry City come to Dalymount Park tomorrow.

Early-season form has deserted the Candystripes of late and they have won just once in their last eight league games.

But given Bohs’ record against Derry in recent seasons, they cannot afford to take them lightly.

Long said: “They’ve done well against us but that doesn’t come into it, it’s all about tomorrow night’s game.

“We know we have to be at our very best against a good team with good players. We have to play to our maximum in order for us to win the game.


“They are fourth in the table for a reason and will come to Dalymount confident despite their recent run.”

Bohs come into this game on the back of a 1-1 draw in Limerick last week.

The Gypsies struggled to get a hold of the game in the first half and had goalkeeper Shane Supple to thank for keeping the score down to 1-0 at half-time.

But the introduction of Paddy Kirk at left-back and Ian Morris moving to midfield after the break settled things down and Dan Casey’s third goal of the season saw them earn a point.

Long said: “Limerick really was a game of two halves. They’ll feel they should have been further ahead going in at the break.

“We changed things around at half-time and the balance of the team was better.

“We could have stolen the game in the end but we were disappointed with the first-half performance.”

Long was more enthused by the midweek display of his young guns against a strong Dundalk side in the Leinster Senior Cup, however.

On Tuesday night, an experimental Bohs side, which contained six players (Ali Reghba, Danny Grant, Dylan Thornton, Luke Nolan, Mitch Byrne and Steven Nolan) starting the Leaving Cert the following day, gave a good account of themselves, taking the lead before eventually losing out 3-1.

Long added: “It was a brilliant performance for what was, with the exception of JJ Lunney, Paddy Kirk and Rob Manley, effectively an U19 team against a Dundalk side that had experienced first-teamers players.

“They were excellent for 60 minutes but just ran out of legs.

“We suffer by not having a reserve league to bridge that gap between U19 and Premier Division football, so we have to use games like these to test players.

“The game was played at a tempo they wouldn’t be used to at U19 level so it was a great opportunity to expose them to a team of Dundalk’s calibre.

“They coped well and the experience will stand to them in their development as players.”


Oscar Brennan (suspension) and Keith Buckley (groin) return.

Colin McCabe (shoulder), Karl Moore (ankle), Darragh Leahy (knee), Cristian Magerusan (metatarsal) and Ryan Swan (cruciate) remain out.

“We’re positive going into another big game”

Markets Field, Friday June 1 2018, 7.45pm

Bohemians go to Markets Field tomorrow positive, refreshed and determined to put some distance between themselves and Limerick in the table.

A late goal against Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount Park last week saw them extend their unbeaten run in the Dublin derby to four games.

Having fallen behind in the 82nd minute, Rob Cornwall’s leveller two minutes from time saw the Gypsies salvage a point from a game they did not deserve to lose.

Manager Keith Long said: “There wasn’t a huge amount between the sides. It wasn’t a game of great quality but we dug it out after going a goal down.

“We would have felt aggrieved had we not got something out of it. It means we’re positive going into another big game this weekend.”


Against Tommy Barrett’s Limerick, Bohs face a side just three points behind them – albeit they have played a game more – and who they have already drawn with twice this season.

Long said: “The table doesn’t lie. There has been very little between ourselves and them, although we were a bit frustrated we didn’t go on and win it when they came to Dalymount.

“It’s a big game for us. We want to extend the distance between us and the teams below us.”

This is the third Friday running that Bohs have finally been able to settle into the normal routine of one game a week.

It’s a far cry from earlier in the season, which saw Long’s side play eight midweek fixtures in all competitions in a bizarrely front-loaded fixture list.

Long said: “It was a talking point for managers throughout the league. Fatigue and lack of recovery time all added up.

“But we’ve had a nice settled run and routine now the last three weeks. We’ve had another good week’s training now and a clear run focused on tomorrow’s game.

“The heavy schedule affected our team selections.

“You have players – the likes of Rob Cornwall with his back – who have ongoing niggles who can’t always play Friday, Monday, Friday, Monday.

“We lost our captain Derek Pender to injury because of the amount of games we were playing too.

“That was a massive loss. I made him captain when I came to the club and he’s captain for a reason. We missed his leadership on the pitch while he was out.

“But he’s back now. He was pushing for a start last week. He was desperate to play but I didn’t want to be killing him! He’s certainly in contention again tomorrow.”

In Detser’s place, Shane Supple has worn the captain’s armband.

The goalkeeper has had a busy week having been called up for Ireland’s friendly games against France last Monday and the USA this Saturday.

He didn’t see any game-time in Paris but Long is hopeful the 31-year-old will be rewarded against the States in the Aviva Stadium in two days’ time.

Long added: “Shane is pleased with how he’s got on in training and in training games. You’d like to think he will get a chance to show what he can do.

“It’s possible that our game in Limerick will be in the thoughts of Martin O’Neill.

“But goalkeeper is a specialist position. He’s not running around the place.

“Playing 90 minutes the night before is not going to overly affect his ability to play again on Saturday evening.

“I’m sure the Ireland management team have seen his qualities.

“They will do what they feel is right, but obviously all of us at Bohemians would love to see him play. He deserves that recognition.”


Oscar Brennan misses out through suspension.

Derek Pender (calf), who returned to the matchday squad last week, could replace Keith Buckley (groin) who is a doubt.

Colin McCabe (shoulder), Karl Moore (ankle), Darragh Leahy (knee), Cristian Magerusan (metatarsal) and Ryan Swan (cruciate) remain out.

“Our attitude, our discipline and our desire has got to be right. If it is, we have a good chance.”

Dalymount Park, Friday May 25 2018, 7.45pm

MATCH SPONSORS: Community Credit Union – serving Dublin 7 & 15
MATCHBALL SPONSORS: Hedigan’s, The Brian Boru

The build-up at both Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers to this week’s Dublin derby has unusually been dominated by talk of Ireland call-ups.

For a fixture that tends to generate considerable hype as it is, it’s unchartered territory for both camps.

Graham Burke of Shamrock Rovers did enough in his appearance for the Ireland XI against Celtic in Scott Brown’s testimonial last week to convince Martin O’Neill he was worthy of a place in the squad for a full international.

Likewise, when O’Neill and assistant Roy Keane came to Dalymount to see Bohs face Dundalk last Friday, he was suitably impressed by goalkeeper Shane Supple’s performance to believe he too merited a call-up for Monday’s friendly away to France and Saturday’s friendly against the USA at the Aviva Stadium.

Both players are available for tomorrow’s game but given the pressures and attention that derby weeks bring, rival managers Keith Long and Stephen Bradley could be forgiven for thinking the call-ups are an unwanted distraction.

But Long won’t entertain such a suggestion.


It’s nearly nine years since a Bohs player last received an Ireland call-up.

Coincidentally it was also a goalkeeper and coincidentally it was also against France as Brian Murphy hooked up with Giovanni Trapattoni’s squad for both legs of that infamous World Cup play-off.

You have to go back even further to 2003 for the last time a Bohemians player received game-time in an Ireland shirt.

Brian Kerr handed Glen Crowe the second of his two senior caps off the bench against Norway at Lansdowne Road after the striker made his debut as a starter under caretaker boss Don Givens, assisted by Bohs legend Billy Young, five months previously away to Greece.

Long said: “It hasn’t been a hindrance to us in the run-up to tomorrow’s game. The call-ups are a pleasant surprise for both clubs, particularly in the week leading up to the derby.

“We see Shane’s quality week in week out. We feel it’s a deserved accolade for him. He is an extremely level-headed bloke and he wouldn’t allow it to become a distraction.”

For Supple to be on the verge of international recognition at 31 years of age is remarkable.

His journey has been well-documented: Regular starter at Ipswich Town in the Championship, returning home to concentrate on his GAA career with St Brigid’s and Dublin, returning to soccer with Crumlin United, signing for Bohs 18 months ago and, as recently as last month, deciding to quit GAA to focus on his soccer career once more.

Long said: “You could say he’s had a journey, a back catalogue… a story to tell!

“We were delighted to be able to sign him when we did. He’s a natural leader and a massive figure around the club.

“Shane was destined for a career in the UK and walked away from it of his own accord.

“The likelihood is international recognition could have come his way a long time ago.

“So this is great for him. At 31 years of age playing in the League of Ireland, it doesn’t happen that often. We are all delighted for him.”

But all talk of Ireland recognition will be put to one side as Dublin’s great rivals come head to head at Dalymount Park tomorrow night.

The Gypsies have had the bragging rights the last three times the sides have met, yet Long is keen to hammer home once more that previous victories count for nothing.

He said: “I watched Rovers against St Pat’s on Wednesday. They looked very strong and have some good players on form.

“Previous games and results between us don’t matter tomorrow.

“They’ve shown they are capable of getting result against anyone in the league so we have to be at our very best.

“Our attitude, our discipline and our desire has got to be right. If it is, we have a good chance.”

Bohs are buoyed by the return of Derek Pender to the squad.

Supple has worn the captain’s armband in recent months in Pender’s absence. But the man of the moment could be forced to surrender that if Long deems his skipper ready to start.

Long said: “Derek’s in the squad tomorrow. It’s great to have him back as he is a leader and a quality player.

“He’s missed a full series of game and had a couple of set-backs along the way when he was nearing return.

“That was frustrating for him and frustrating for us but hopefully we’ll have him for the rest of the season.”

Bohs come into this game on the back of a 2-0 home defeat to Dundalk.

Long watched that from the stands as he served a one-match ban for being sent off against Waterford last month.

He added: “We were reasonably pleased with the performance but disappointed with the result.

“We had chances and if we’d taken them, it could have been a different game.

“Dundalk are that bit more experienced and clinical.

“But there were positives to take from it. Paddy Kirk, who came through our U19s, making his first start and he was there on merit.

“He’s been knocking on the door for a while now and he stood up for the challenge.

“It wasn’t a token gesture. It’s a justified reward for his attitude and hard work.”


Derek Pender (calf) returns.

Colin McCabe (shoulder), Darragh Leahy (knee), Karl Moore (ankle), Cristian Magerusan (metatarsal), Ryan Swan (cruciate) remain out.

“we can put it up to anyone in this league”

Friday May 18 2018, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm

MATCH SPONSOR: Yvolve Sports

Keith Long wants his Bohemians side to “have a go” when top-of-the table Dundalk come to Dalymount Park tonight.

Buoyed by back-to-back league victories for the first time this term, Long’s side are relishing the challenge of taking on the country’s form team.

The Gypsies have won plaudits for their style of football throughout the season so far but against the Lilywhites, they come up against the pass masters.

The challenge ahead of them is even more daunting when you consider Bohs have not won three league games in a row since October 2015.

Long will watch the game from the stands after receiving a one-game game having been sent from the dugout against Waterford on three weeks ago.

Undeterred, he said: “You have to be at your best against Dundalk but that’s the same for every team that plays them as they’re such a strong side.


“They play a fluent style of football as they always have under Stephen Kenny.

“With respect to Sligo Rovers and Bray Wanderers, Dundalk are on another level to most teams in the league.

“But those two wins allow us to have a go at them.

“On our day, if everyone gives a fully focused performance, we can put it up to anyone in this league.

“The pitch is looking well and it should be a great evening for football.

“We hope we have a big crowd here to support us and we want to go out and do ourselves justice in front of our home supporters.”

Bohs’ victories against Sligo and Bray respectively have left them in a healthier position in the league table.

They are seventh and are now 11 points clear of the relegation zone and six clear of the play-off position.

Long said: “In the first half against Bray, we were well on top and could have scored more to make it more comfortable for ourselves.

“We created a lot of chances. Bray got back into it with the penalty and put us under pressure for 20 minutes or so.

“But we defended well and when we brought Dan Byrne and Eoghan Stokes on, the game settled down for us.

“Eoghan got the third to kill the game off and the 3-1 scoreline was a fair reflection of the game.

“It was very important that we picked up wins against teams below and around us in the table to put a bit of distance between us.”

While Bohs’ style of play has been praised, a cutting edge had eluded them in previous, so Long is delighted to see his frontmen find form.

He added: “Dinny scored twice against Pat’s three weeks ago although one of them was mistakenly attributed to Kevin Devaney at the time.

“Now he’s got another one against Bray. Strikers can be confidence players so three goals to his name in recent weeks will do Dinny no end of good.

“The same goes for Stokesy. He’s an excellent talent but sometimes he needs to trust his instinct a bit more and pull the trigger.

“He believed in himself and did just that against Bray. Nothing beats putting the ball in the net and that goal will give him a big lift too.”


Paddy Kavanagh (illness) returns to the squad, but Keith Ward (foot) and skipper Derek Pender (calf) are considered doubts.

Colin McCabe (shoulder), Karl Moore (ankle), Darragh Leahy (knee), Cristian Magerusan (metatarsal) and Ryan Swan (cruciate) remain out.

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