PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v DUNDALK (Friday April 19th, KO7.45pm)

Bohemians come to Friday’s game against Dundalk looking to make amends for an injury-time defeat to Limerick on Tuesday.

After that game, “it was tough to be in the dressing room”, said manager Aaron Callaghan. “The lads know themselves they should have got something out of the game.”

Despite three defeats in four games Callaghan is encouraged by the individual and team performances.

“I know this is a results-based industry. But I judge our games on the performances. I believe if you get the performances right, by and large the results will follow,” he said. “There’s nothing that a couple of wins can’t sort out.”


“The lads are working really hard in training and we’re trying to address those issues of concentration and communication,” he continued. If Bohs cannot get on a winning run “it won’t be for lack of effort”.

There were lots of positives in the team’s display on Tuesday, insisted Callaghan. Midfielder Shane Murray in his first league start was “brilliant” and he is “a fantastic prospect”.

Striker Kevin O’Leary was brought on late, and “we thought he might nick it for us”. He had scored a hat-trick in an earlier friendly against Irish Universities, and is showing promise and an eye for goal.

“I thought we dominated that game and were much the better side but sometimes the lie of the land just isn’t with you. It’s a cruel game. We were pegged back with another goal of the season contender [as with the first goal of the game against Derry City],” said Callaghan.

With Michael Barker and Shane Murray in for David Mulcahy and Stephen Paisley, the team’s average age dropped and youthful inexperience was a factor in the final outcome.

Callaghan and his coaching team, including a psychologist, will be giving more attention to the mental aspects of the game as they seek to eliminate the costly errors, but also to ensure the goal-scoring opportunities are taken.

“Seventy per cent of the game can be in your mind, and we have to address that,” said Callaghan. “One good thing about Tuesday’s game was that we probably had more chances than in any other this season. We changed the system a little to get more players forward, and I felt it worked.”

There may be some personnel changes for Friday as Chris Lyons (ankle) returns from a month-long lay-off, perhaps taking a place on the bench. Captain Owen Heary (knee injury) remains out.


PREVIEW: LIMERICK v BOHEMIANS (Tuesday April 16, Thomond Park, 7.45pm)

Bohemians face their nearest rivals in the league table when they play Limerick FC at Thomond Park on Tuesday.

This first match in 11 days starts an intensive round of games for Bohemians, with seven over the next 24 days.

Manager Aaron Callaghan is apprehensive about the impact on the players of matches following each other so closely. “I never got a call on the scheduling. The matches just seem to be arranged and there’s no discussion.


“But we’ve got to go and we’ve got to play. We’ll just have to call on the full squad if necessary.”

Callaghan’s squad had a friendly against Irish Universities since their last league game. “It was a good competitive game and we won it very well, plus we got a full game for a lot of lads who haven’t played for a while.”

The squad have also worked hard on correcting what caused the home defeats by Sligo Rovers and Derry City. “We played well in those games for long periods, passing the ball well,” said Callaghan. “But it’s keeping the concentration that matters. A few key moments have cost us.”

The Bohemian manager notes that Limerick’s form has been similar to his own team’s, dropping points by narrow margins.

“They have been getting a lot of draws, and they came back with a late goal in their last match.

“They seem to be finding their way in this league but they’ve brought in some experienced players and they carry goal-scoring threats. We will need to be at our best to get a result.”

Bohemians will be without striker Chris Lyons (ankle) and captain Owen Heary (knee) on Tuesday, though Lyons may make it back for the following game.


PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v DERRY CITY (Friday April 5th, KO7.05pm)

Bohemians host No. 2 in the league Derry City just a week after welcoming leaders Sligo Rovers. But they come to Friday’s televised encounter after bouncing back from defeat to Sligo Rovers with a good win over Shelbourne.

Manager Aaron Callaghan was very pleased with the performance against Shels, particularly with the contribution of more experienced players, Derek Pender, Dave Mulcahy and Stephen Paisley, the last-named playing his first full game of the league campaign against his former club.


“Their experience counted when Shelbourne had us pinned back for 20 minutes in the second half,” said Callaghan.

In his first league start for Bohemians Ciaran Nangle (pictured) did “really well, he brought a bit of balance to the team on the left side, and he showed calmness”, according to the manager.

Victory over Shelbourne moved Bohemians out of a group at the bottom of the table and“it was vital to get those three points”, Callaghan noted.

Derry will present formidable opposition, having scored seven goals in their last three games, while conceding none.

“They will be coming to us full of confidence. They have had a good start to the season. We have to make sure our preparation is right and we have to concentrate on our own performance, and make sure we don’t make those errors that cost us against Sligo”, said Callaghan.

Against Shelbourne, a couple of players who were starting regularly were rested, and one or two of those may come in again against Derry.

Michael Barker has joined the injury list with an ankle injury from training. Owen Heary (knee) and Chris Lyons (ankle) remain out.

Callaghan has sought to keep the whole squad tuned up with friendlies, like a short game played on Wednesday at the IT Blanchardstown complex. He has arranged another friendly against Irish Universities for the 11-day period between Friday’s game and the trip to Limerick on 16th April.


PREVIEW: SHELBOURNE v BOHEMIANS (Easter Monday, Tolka Park, 7pm)

Bohemians meet north Dublin rivals Shelbourne on Easter Monday when both teams will be determined to come back from heavy defeats on Friday.

Manager Aaron Callaghan found some encouragement from aspects of his team’s performance against league-leaders Sligo Rovers and his counterpart Ian Baraclough acknowledged their 3-0 win was “not a drubbing”.


“For long periods of the game I thought we played well, and moved the ball well,” said Callaghan. “The early goal was a kick in the teeth but we responded well and we were back in the game for 25 minutes after that. But we didn’t pass and move it as quickly as we would like and we’ve got to work on that.”

That work begins immediately with Monday’s clash with Shelbourne who have, according to Callaghan, been “performing well, but losing by a goal here or there, rather like us at the start of last season”.

The Bohemian manager fully expects Shelbourne to improve.

“They have a lot of experience through the side with players like Glenn Cronin, Paul Crowley, Graham Gartland and Philly Hughes. But then, every team in this league has the potential to turn over any other.”

Bohs and Shels had exactly the same satisfactory result, a scoreless draw, in their recent matches against Shamrock Rovers, suggesting they may be more closely matched than the league points indicate.

In last season’s encounters, the sides won one match each, both away from home, and drew the third match at Dalymount.

Bohemian goalkeeper Dean Delany and defender Stephen Paisley will be making a quick return to Tolka Park after signing from Shelbourne in the off-season. Paisley made his Bohemian debut on Friday as a half-time substitute for Owen Heary.

Heary, a long-serving and inspirational leader at both clubs, will miss this north Dublin derby due to a knee injury which caused that substitution. Chris Lyons remains out for Bohemians with an ankle injury.


PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v SLIGO ROVERS (Good Friday, Dalymount Park, 7.05pm)

(Please note early kick-off time)

Bohemians welcome league champions Sligo Rovers determined to recover the confidence they felt after their last game 11 days ago.

Last weekend’s late calling-off of the St Patrick’s Athletic game may have cost his team “a bit of momentum”, according to manager Aaron Callaghan.

“The lads put in a good performance against Shamrock Rovers and a good result against Pats would have moved us right up the table,” Callaghan said.

“It’s disappointing when you’re preparing for a game and it’s called off at the last minute, but we can’t control things like that.”


Bohemians will show the table-toppers the respect they deserve but Callaghan takes confidence from two close games against Sligo last season, including a scoreless draw at Dalymount.

“Sligo have had a great run in the league and they have had a good Setanta Cup so far but we’re looking for a result from Friday’s game.

“The level of consistency Sligo have maintained is very good. They are able to compete for the best players and they have bought well. They took Evan [McMillan] from us, a really good player, and I was surprised that others didn’t get him.”

For Bohemians, Chris Lyons remains out with an ankle injury from the Shamrock Rovers game that may be more serious than first thought. Shane Fitzgerald has returned to training after an ankle injury.

With newly-signed Stephen Paisley now fully fit, Callaghan has to consider what role he may have, given that the defence with Owen Heary in the centre has proven effective.

But the availability of the experienced Paisley and of Dave Mulcahy is a fillip as Bohemians face Shelbourne next Monday. Callaghan may be calling on more of his squad over the next few days.

Website by Simon Alcock