“This is the game fans and players all look forward to”

SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday 15 April 2016, 7.45pm

Keith Long says Bohemians will not be deterred by the sense of occasion when they host arch-rivals Shamrock Rovers in the Dublin derby on Friday.

Long said: “When the fixtures come out, this is the game that fans and players all look forward to.

“We all understand that. We all want to be involved in and win these kind of games.

“Ultimately though it’s the same three points up for grabs as last week against Bray Wanderers and the same three points up for grabs against Derry City next week.”

Having lost just once in the last 11 league meetings (W4 D6 L1) between the sides, Bohs’ derby form in recent seasons has belied the clubs’ league positions.


Once again, Bohs come into this fixture chasing the Hoops in the table.

Currently in seventh place on ten points, victory tomorrow would see the Gypsies leapfrog Rovers, who sit fifth on 12 points.

Long said: “Our record in previous games against Rovers doesn’t come into it and the clubs’ positions in the table counts for nothing coming into a derby either.

“These games are tight, tense and have often been decided on a mistake or sometimes on who wants it more. I’ve no doubt it will be a keenly-contested affair as always.”

Bohs are in form after two successive 2-0 league victories against Longford Town and Bray Wanderers respectively, with an entertaining 4-3 Leinster Senior Cup win over Dundalk in between.

Long said: “Our results have improved. It was important that we settled as we had an indifferent start to the season.

“Bray was always going to be a tough game and it took us a while to get into it. But when we got going, I thought we put in a very solid and professional performance.

“We’ve back-to-back victories in the league now – including our first away from home – and kept a clean sheet in both, so our confidence is good.”

Rovers’ last outing was a 3-0 loss away to Derry City last Friday and Long added: “Rovers will be hurting from that defeat. Pat Fenlon will have his players ready for this game and demanding an improvement.”

Dave Mulcahy comes back into contention for Bohs after missing the Bray game with a virus. But Mark Quigley (quad) and Jake Kelly (virus) are doubtful. Jason Caffrey (hamstring) remains out.

“We’ve got to show we want it more”

SSE Airtricity League, Carlisle Grounds, Saturday 9 April 2016, 7.30pm

Keith Long has told Bohemians to show they “want it more” when they travel to take on Bray Wanderers on Saturday.

The Gypsies continued their encouraging home form with victories against Longford Town and Dundalk over the last eight days in the SSE Airtricity League and Leinster Senior Cup respectively.

Those wins made it five games unbeaten at Dalymount Park in all competitions this season and now Long wants to replicate that form on the road.

Long said: “It’s still early days. We’ve had two good wins but Bray will be tough opponents. They’ll be disappointed at being beaten by Wexford Youths on the back of a fantastic result against Sligo Rovers.


“It’s not going to be easy and we’ve got to show we want it more.”

Goals from Keith Buckley and Aymen Ben Mohamed just before half-time gave a reinvigorated Bohs side a 2-0 victory against Longford last Friday.

Long said: “It wasn’t perfect. But we showed more of what we’re capable of.

“We were delighted to keep a clean sheet but we got away with some errors that might have been punished against other teams.

“But with that two-goal cushion, you could see that the players were really playing with confidence in the second half.”

Bohs’ defence has come in for criticism in the early stages of this season but having scored six goals in two games, now the side’s flair up front is receiving some deserved plaudits.

Long said: “We still need to tighten up defensively and that has to start from the front. But between Kurtis Byrne, Mark Quigley, Izzy Akinade, Jake Kelly and Adam Evans, we have really good attacking options.”

The competition for places up front was highlighted by Kurtis Byrne – reduced to a substitute’s role against Longford – netting a stunning hat-trick in the 4-3 Leinster Senior Cup win against his former club Dundalk on Monday.

Long said: “Obviously the Leinster Senior Cup is down our list of priorities but it meant that, bar the injured players, we were able to give everyone in the squad a game over the two matches.

“Kurtis was disappointed not to start against Longford but he really showed his quality against Dundalk.”

And, for once, a manager was happy to see his touchline instructions fall on deaf ears.

Long added: “Kurtis was about five yards offside for his first goal! I was screaming at him to leave it alone as Adam Evans was onside.

“But it was a lovely finish – the hat-trick really was fantastic. The free-kick for the second was excellent and the third was something special too.

“It’s great to see a player have the confidence to try something like that. It reflects the hard work he puts into his own game and I think there is more to come from Kurtis as he settles in at the club.”

Mark Quigley (quad) is once again considered doubtful, while Jason Caffrey (hamstring) remains out.


SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday 1 April 2016, 7.45pm

Bohemians manager Keith Long has told his players that continued hard work will reap rewards.

Friday sees the meeting of two sides who were considered the surprise packages last year, with Bohs finishing fifth and Longford sixth respectively.

But both clubs have had a sluggish start to the new season with four points each from their opening five fixtures.

Long is confident of moving up the table and said: “We know we haven’t clicked yet. But we need to have some perspective too, we’re only five games into the season.

“If we continue working hard, our luck will change. The players have been positive and hard-working all week. I expect us to bounce back.


“Confidence is a huge thing. A good result against Longford and things can suddenly look a lot better.”

Arguably the Gypsies’ best performance of the season so far came against tomorrow’s opposition when Long’s men ran out 3-1 winners in the EA Sports Cup nine days ago.

Long said: “It will be a different game and Tony Cousins will select a stronger team.

“But our mentality is the same. We want fast, attacking football. We want our players to go out and express themselves and to be positive in possession.”

Bohs’ home form has been encouraging so far with two wins and a draw in all competitions at Dalymount Park.

But Saturday’s 1-0 loss to high-flying Galway United was the team’s third defeat from three tough early-season away fixtures.

Long added: “Against Galway, there was very little between the sides.

“We had been quite comfortable. We weathered the storm in the first half against the wind but in the second half, we didn’t take advantage.

“You felt whoever scored first was going to win it. We’re disappointed not to have come away with something from the game.”

Bohs’ options are boosted by the return of Eoin Wearen, who sat out the last three games with a viral infection.

Ismahil Akinade is also back in contention to start after a hamstring strain suffered in the EA Sports Cup game against Longford limited him to a substitute’s role against Galway.

But there are doubts over Mark Quigley, who suffered a quad strain in training on Wednesday, and Jason Caffrey (hamstring).


SSE Airtricity League, Eamonn Deacy Park, Saturday 26 March 2016, 2pm

Keith Long says Bohemians’ midweek EA Sports Cup success can provide the springboard to kick on in the league against Galway United on Saturday.

The Gypsies conceded three goals in consecutive league games in a defeat to St Patrick’s Athletic (0-3) and a draw against Wexford Youths (3-3).

But a strong second-half display on Tuesday saw Long’s men return to form with a 3-1 victory against Longford Town in the EA Sports Cup.

Long said: “Confidence is key. Winning is a habit, but losing can also become a habit. It was important we got that victory under our belts.


“We didn’t make wholesale changes in personnel in the off-season. But there is a bit of an ongoing evolution in how we want to play.

“We haven’t had the start we would have liked. But I’m confident we have more about us than we have shown so far and that we will get better and continue to improve.

“We know we have to defend better than we have done in previous games and cut out the mistakes we’ve been making.

“We’re still finding that balance in terms of being difficult to play against at the back and how we want to attack teams when we’re in possession.”

Bohs know all too well that getting a result in Eamonn Deacy Park will be no easy task. Despite beating the Tribesmen twice at Dalymount Park last season, the Gypsies came unstuck out west in both the league (3-5) and EA Sports Cup (0-1, AET).

Long said: “We know it will be a tough game. Galway have had a bright start to the season, beating St Pat’s away in their opening game. They were very unlucky to come away from Derry last week with nothing too.

“Tommy Dunne will have his lads well up for it. It’s up to us to be ready for that and to give a complete performance for 90 minutes.”

Anto Murphy (hamstring) and Kurtis Byrne (foot) are back in contention, but Eoin Wearen (virus) remains out.

Ismahil Akinade, who came off with a hamstring strain against Longford, returned to training today but faces a late fitness test tomorrow.

The availability of Roberto Lopes (virus) is also considered extremely doubtful.


EA Sports Cup Rd 1, Dalymount Park, Tuesday 22 March 2016, 7.45pm

Keith Long has told Bohemians to eradicate mistakes at the back if they want to progress in the EA Sports Cup on Tuesday night.

The Gypsies showed great character to battle back three times to salvage a 3-3 draw at home to Wexford Youths on Friday.

But having also conceded three goals in the 3-0 defeat away to St Patrick’s Athletic four days previously, Long knows his side need to shore up.

Long said: “One thing we couldn’t fault the team on was their determination on Friday. They didn’t let their heads drop and showed great spirit to come back three times.

“But we know we shouldn’t have been behind three times in the first place.


“We will make changes tomorrow night. We need to eradicate mistakes and we will be putting out a team we feel are capable of winning the game.

“This is a competition we want to progress and do well in, so it’s important we don’t lose sight of that either.”

Long sought to address issues in defence against Wexford Youths with Daniel Byrne, who missed most of last season with cruciate and cartilage injuries, replacing Derek Prendergast after just 35 minutes.

He said: “I could have taken off any one of six or seven players at that stage, Del was the unlucky one.

“We needed someone to settle things down at the back. We were being bombarded by set pieces.

“Dan has great physical stature and he helped settle things. It was good for Dan too as he hasn’t played a lot of football in the last year or so.”

Another positive for the Gypsies was the performance of midfielder Ayman Ben Mohamed on his home league debut.

Long added: “Ayman was great, he was a real bright spark. He tired towards the end as he’s missed parts of pre-season and needs more game-time.

“But it was a fantastic home debut, we were really pleased with him. Mazy runs, taking on the opposition – that’s what fans want to see.”

Eoin Wearen (virus) is unavailable for selection again, while Kurtis Byrne (foot) also looks set to miss out. Anto Murphy (hamstring) is a doubt.

Website by Simon Alcock