PREVIEW: LONGFORD TOWN v BOHEMIANS

LONGFORD TOWN v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League
Saturday May 15 2021
Bishopsgate, 6pm
Live on WatchLOI.ie

Bohemians travel to Longford Town this evening in confidence having finally turned a good performance into a comprehensive result.

Ali Coote, playing on the right wing for the first time in a Bohs shirt, was one of the main architects of a 4-0 defeat of Finn Harps last Saturday.

The Scotsman’s two excellent finishes in an all-round excellent attacking performance embodied the overall team display where everyone seemed to click.

There were signs a result like that was coming but there is no denying that the team breathed a huge sense of relief after their four-game winless run came to an end in style.

Coote, 22, said: “We needed that result last week, we were delighted with it and obviously I was delighted personally too to get on the scoresheet.

READ MORE

“I am happy playing on the wing or in the middle, and I’m more of a goal threat the further up the pitch I am playing.

“We felt that the performances have been there in previous games but we just weren’t clinical enough to turn them into results, which has been very frustrating.”

With nine new signings, it has taken time for this team to gel, with Coote one of those to arrive over the closed season.

House-sharing with fellow new boys Georgie Kelly, Liam Burt and Stephen Mallon has assisted him in settling in at the club, although he bemoaned that he is left to ‘do all the cleaning’.

Some of those new boys have started to show what they are capable of, now the next test is to see if they can do it week in, week out.

And reminding themselves of the last time they faced tonight’s opposition should serve as a timely warning about how a failure to be clinical up front can see you punished.

When these sides met in Dalymount Park in March, Bohs were coasting at 2-0 at half-time and bossed the game for an hour. But given the chances they spurned, their lead could and should have been double that.

And they paid the price when Longford’s supersub Conor Davis capitalised on sloppy play to snatch a share of the spoils.

Last weekend’s composed and clinical performance against Harps is, hopefully, an encouraging sign that Bohs have found their groove both up front and at the back.

But nobody will get carried away by one result. They know they have to be right at it from the off.

Coote added: “The challenge now is to keep that intensity up and to be consistent in every game.

“In previous games, we were giving away silly goals too so it was important for us to get a clean sheet too.

“We were conceding from set pieces so we have worked really hard in training to eradicate that.

“We want to build on that result and the clean sheet, and push on.”

TEAM NEWS

Stephen Mallon (metatarsal) remains out.

 

PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v FINN HARPS

SSE Airtricity League
Saturday May 8 2021
Dalymount Park, 6pm
Live on WatchLOI.ie

Keith Long believes Bohemians are better than the points they have accumulated to date suggest – and has challenged his side to use the pain of disappointing results to drive them forward and up the table once more.

Leading 1-0 in injury-time away to Drogheda on Bank Holiday Monday thanks to a wonderful team goal finished by Liam Burt, Bohs looked like they were about to get back to winning ways.

But they inexplicably handed a share of the spoils to the home side who punished bad defending with a suckerpunch from James Clarke following a corner right in the third minute of stoppage time.

Long said: “The first phase of games has seen a disappointing return for us. We would have hoped and expected more points on the board than we currently have at this juncture.

“I firmly believe we are better than the points accumulated but our league position does not lie and we will need significant improvement to move up the table.

READ MORE

“Recent performances at home to Derry and away to Drogheda sum up our season to date. We have looked good in spells but a lack of incisiveness, and basic errors at critical times have cost us with the concession of late goals in both games.

“This has been a trend in many of the games over the first round and we need to improve our output in the last third of the pitch and eliminate the basic errors.

“I believe in our boys, I believe we are better than what we have shown so far this season. We are not making excuses and are not looking for excuses.

“We need to improve and only by remaining together we will do so. I understand supporters’ frustrations and trust me, we all very much share those. However we must stay together and only by doing so we can overcome this period.

“We have made great strides in recent years both on and off the pitch. Progress is never linear and sometimes you have to take a step back in order to move forwards. Now more than ever we need our supporters to get behind this team.

“I know they can’t be with us in Dalymount and we hate not having them in the Jodi. I know also that they would not accept some of our displays.

“But I can absolutely tell you we are doing everything we can to improve results, improve performances and we will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of becoming a better team. We feel pain but are not broken, and we need to use that pain to drive us forward.”

This evening Bohs welcome Finn Harps to Dalymount Park.

Ollie Horgan’s side have proved difficult opponents in recent seasons and have won the two most recent meetings between the sides.

Long said: “We start the second phase of games like we did the first against an extremely organised Finn Harps team that have many good players in their ranks with real threats around the pitch in every position.

“Games against Harps are always challenging and they will test you in every facet of the game. They work extremely hard, are well organised and play to a system that really suits the attributes of the team. They will come to Dalymount with confidence and we will need to be absolutely on our game to get a result.”

TEAM NEWS

Bastien Héry is available for selection once more. Stephen Mallon (metatarsal) is continuing with his recovery but is still a number of weeks off.

PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v DERRY CITY

BOHEMIANS v DERRY CITY
SSE Airtricity League
Friday April 30 2021
Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Live on WatchLOI.ie

Keith Long has urged Bohemians to cut out mistakes at the back and to become ruthless in front of goal to deliver the results recent overall performances have deserved.

After back-to-back wins against Dundalk and Waterford, Bohs were left empty-handed from two high tempo games last week. First, at home to Sligo Rovers on Tuesday and then away to Shamrock Rovers on Friday night.

It was bitterly disappointing for Bohs, particularly the result in Tallaght when, with Ross Tierney dazzling in midfield, they produced some of their best football of the season only to be condemned to defeat by baffling officiating.

READ MORE

Long said: “There is no doubt in my mind that our performances deserved more with some good football in both games against both Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers.

“Unfortunately, a combination of some bad defending, some poor finishing and some dreadful officiating cost us.

“We need to be more clinical in both boxes, cutting out some basic errors defensively and taking our chances when they come our way.”

There is no denying that Bohs’ finishing had let them down in performances that otherwise produced plenty of positives. With Sligo winning 2-1, Keith Ward had a glorious opportunity to level the game but somehow scuffed his shot wide and the Bit O’Red instead went on to add a third.

Similarly in Tallaght, both Liam Burt and Georgie Kelly, albeit the latter under serious pressure from a defender, found themselves in good positions to score but both failed to hit the target.

Long said: “We have been guilty of missing some really gilt-edged chances in the last two games and we must take those opportunities and become ruthless in front of goal.

“We will stick to our principles and we will not allow set-backs to set us back. We have a firm belief in what we are doing and we will do what we have always done by trying to move forward and to become better.”

While cursing mistakes at the back and missed opportunities up front, it was a refereeing decision that cost Bohs most dearly on Friday as a penalty was controversially awarded against James Finnerty, who was inexplicably shown a red card for the same incident.

Long said: “Unfortunately a great game and a great advertisement for the league was spoiled by a refereeing decision that saw us ultimately lose the game and also lost James to a red card.

“I do not have selective memory – it is important to note we have benefitted from some decisions in previous derby games, most notably when Lee Grace was sent off for a handball when the ball hit his face.

“My argument is that it only became clear upon watching the replay back several times to realise the ball actually hit Lee on the face and not in fact the hand. It was almost impossible for the referee in real time to think otherwise.

“But Friday’s decision was not like for like, and the referee gets it wrong in my opinion. He obviously feels that James’ action was serious foul play to deny a goalscoring opportunity. Clearly this was not the case and we were punished on the double.

“On balance, decisions tend to even themselves out over a season and maybe our good fortune is yet to come. It is important however to demand an improvement from our officials.

“They are a very important stakeholder in our game and there are some really good guys doing a difficult job. But they need to be more accountable for their actions and the process to which they are made accountable needs to be more transparent.”

Having parted ways with manager Declan Devine last week, visitors Derry City got their ‘new manager bounce’ when they beat Sligo 1-0 last Saturday at the Showgrounds in former Bohemians midfielder Ruaidhrí Higgins’ first game in charge.

Long said: “Ruaidhrí got his reign as Derry boss off to the best possible start with an away win at Sligo and his team will come to Dalymount with great confidence and belief.”

TEAM NEWS

James Finnerty is suspended. Bastien Héry (ankle) and Stephen Mallon (metatarsal) remain out.

Long added: “Thankfully James’ ban is only for one game. Bastien stepped up his recovery from his ankle injury and has taken part in parts of training this week but he is not yet available for selection this week.

“Stephen is making good progress and we hope to see him return to parts of training next week.”

Preview: Bohemians v Sligo Rovers

BOHEMIANS v SLIGO ROVERS
SSE Airtricity League
Tuesday April 20 2021
Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Live on WatchLOI

Bohemians are looking to build on the form of two away wins in a row when we welcome high-flying and unbeaten Sligo Rovers to Dalymount Park.

Successive 1-0 wins on the road in Dundalk and Waterford have moved Bohs up to sixth after a frustrating start to the season where Keith Long’s picked up just one point from their opening three games.

Goal difference sees the visitors in third but Liam Buckley’s men are level on points with league leaders Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic after three wins and two draws from their opening five games.

Long said: “Sligo have enjoyed an unbeaten start to the season, have looked impressive so far this campaign and will come to Dalymount with confidence.

READ MORE

“They have a nice balance of experience and some talented young players coming through and will have ambitions on building on last season.

“It will be another tough game – our games against Sligo are always difficult and generally very close affairs.”

In fact the same can be said of Bohs’ opening five fixtures of this campaign – a draw and four 1-0 results.

Bohs came out on the right side the two most recent of those – away to Dundalk and then away Waterford – but lost out to Finn Harps in Ballybofey on the opening night of the season and again to St Pat’s in our last outing at Dalymount.
Long said: “After our defeat against St Pat’s in our last home game, I referred to the fine margins we have experienced so far this season.

“The same could have been said for our win in Dundalk where we came out on the right side of the result – a result which could have very easily gone the other way. The point is that we have not been a million miles off, despite not playing at our best.

“Against Waterford, we didn’t play anywhere near how we did in Dundalk but still kept a clean sheet and a win. Our performance was a bit flat, we didn’t create enough and our use of the ball was slow. Overall it was quite the contrast to the performance in Oriel Park.

“Our performance levels have to improve on Waterford but we hope the injection of confidence provided by back-to-back wins will lead to better performances and, by extension, improved results.

“We will improve as the season goes on and we will get more consistency in our performances. The attitude of the players has been excellent and we are all working very hard to get better.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohs are likely to be without Andy Lyons (hamstring) and Bastien Héry (ankle) once more.

Stephen Mallon (metatarsal) remains out also but there was some good news as he returned to training last week, while Promise Omochere (knee) and Conor Levingston (calf) were named on the bench against Waterford for the first time this season.

Long added: “It is pleasing to see some of the long term injuries return to training. Conor played 60 minutes in a recent behind-closed-doors friendly against St Pat’s and Promise Omochere is back training now on a full-time basis, which means he is closer to returning to playing competitive games.

“Stephen picked up an unfortunate metatarsal injury in pre-season but is back to light training now. He is a number of weeks away from playing but is making great progress and working extremely hard. He is doing everything right in order to get back playing and to make an impact at the club.”

Preview: Waterford v Bohemians

WATERFORD v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League
Friday April 16 2021, live on WatchLOI.ie
Please note earlier kick-off time of 5.45pm

First-half goals from Ali Coote and Tyreke Wilson were the difference between the sides the last time Bohemians met Waterford.

Bohs were curing their luck on that occasion back in September but would be delighted with a similar outcome this evening.

When Waterford came to Dalymount in John Sheridan’s last game in charge, Coote and Wilson lined out for the Blues and their suckerpunches in an otherwise even game left Bohs kicking themselves.

This time around though they will be lining out in the red and black of Bohemians when they travel to familiar surroundings of the RSC.

The duo were among nine new signings snapped up by manager Keith Long in the closed season.

READ MORE

But Scottish midfielder Coote, 22, says he will have little inside knowledge facing his former club, such has been the high turnover of personnel there under new manager and former Ireland international Kevin Sheedy, including the addition of former Bohs man Oscar Brennan as club captain.

He admitted: “I have no idea what to expect from Waterford! There has been a huge turnover of players. There are only a few left from when I was there last season.

“I enjoyed my time there, we did well last season. The RSC is a good place to play football with a good pitch. We are just looking forward to going down there and hopefully building on our performance last week against Dundalk.”

That performance in Oriel Park saw Bohs claim their first win of the season after a tricky opening to the season, which saw them pick up just one point from their first three games.

It was a hugely improved performance and deserved victory. Bohs created plenty of chances, but it was Georgie Kelly’s first-half penalty that was the difference between the sides.

Coote said: “We just clicked on the night – everyone was at it. We deserved the result. We knew going up there that they were a good side. They have been one of the best sides in the country for a number of years.

“But the gaffer told us to put in a performance we could be proud of and I definitely think we did that. If anything I thought we could have gone and scored more.

“We passed it about more, and that suits me personally as I get to show my qualities. The challenge now is to build on that performance and to try to get a run going.”

That victory marked 21-year-old Wilson’s debut in a Bohs shirt as he was chosen ahead of Anto Breslin, who had started the three previous games.

Breslin was an ever-reliable last season, so left-back is one of a number of positions where there will be healthy competition.

Wilson, who was on the books of Manchester City before joining Waterford, said: “I’ve had to be patient. The gaffer has been good to me though.

“There have been a lot of new players so it was always going to take a little while to get used to each other but we showed what we are capable of against Dundalk.

“It’s all about building momentum. We can take a lot of confidence as a team and hopefully we can go on a run.

“We are training well together too so hopefully we can bring that into the next few games.”

Wilson had Bohs fans cursing him when he stepped up and fired home a stunning free-kick that sealed that victory for the Blues back in September.

If a similar opportunity arises this evening, will he be putting his hand up again?

“Yeah, definitely! I fancy myself with free-kicks – I always practice myself after training. It’s something I have in my locker so if the opportunity presents itself yeah I’ll definitely be trying to take it and to score,” he added.

TEAM NEWS

Stephen Mallon (metatarsal) remains out.

Andy Lyons, who came off with a hamstring injury against Dundalk, and Bastien Héry (ankle) will not be risked.

But Promise Omochere (knee) and Conor Levingston (calf) come back into contention.

Long explained: “Andy came off with a tight hamstring last week so we won’t risk him for this game, especially as we have two games next week.

“Unfortunately Bastien went over on his ankle late in a training game so he is unavailable for us this evening.

“The good news is we have Levo and Promise back. Promise is looking really sharp and both of those will be with the squad this evening.”

Website by Simon Alcock