Preview: Shamrock Rovers v Bohemians

SHAMROCK ROVERS v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League
Monday October 18 2021
Talllaght Stadium, 7.15pm
Exclusively live on RTÉ 2

Keith Long believes Bohemians have shown they have the resilience required to have a strong finish to the season.

With games coming thick and fast once more, Bohs travel to Tallaght Stadium to face Shamrock Rovers in the league this evening at the unusual kick-off time of 7.15pm before hosting Waterford in the FAI Cup semi-final on Friday.

They come into this evening’s game buoyed by Georgie Kelly’s injury-time equaliser against in-form Dundalk on Friday.

Long said: “These are great games to be involved in.

“It was important for us that we didn’t lose on Friday. That gives the boys a little bit of confidence again going into this run of games.

“I am pleased we got something from the game when it didn’t look like we would at 90 minutes.

“But we dominated possession for large periods, we kept going. We had the best chances in the game. In another game, we take two or three of those.

“Dundalk are a team in good form again now, with good players, so I am pleased with how we reacted. It shows we have resilience in the team and that we can bounce back from set-backs.

“We can turn around results – we have shown that in games against Derry City and Longford Town.”

Thanks to a mix of suspension and injuries, Long was forced into making changes to his starting XI against Dundalk and made five substitutions during the game as he looks to keep players as fresh as possible during a hectic schedule.

Thankfully, Ciarán Kelly (knee), Keith Buckley (groin) and Ali Coote (illness) are considered fully fit having only been available for the bench on Friday, while Rory Feely returns from suspension.

But James Finnerty (groin) and Stephen Mallon (hip) remain out.

Long said: “We had to make changes against Dundalk.

“Ciarán Kelly took a knock in training and we were just about able to patch him up to put him on the bench in case we needed him.

“It meant that with Rory Feely suspended and James Finnerty injured, we had to play Anto Breslin – a full-back – at centre half.

“Ali Coote was sick for 10 days, not with Covid, but he had only trained the last two sessions, so we had to use our squad for a number of reasons.

“There is a quick turnaround after playing on Friday now too. We are going to have to rely on our squad again and the powers of recovery.

“We have a big game tonight and a big game on Friday. In reality they are all big games between now and the end of the season.”

Preview: Bohemians v Dundalk

SSE Airtricity League
Friday October 15 2021
Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Exclusively live on LOITV
Audio described commentary: access4all.bohemians.ie

Keith Long hopes the expected increase in capacity at games can help Bohemians climb the table between now and the end of the season.

A good atmosphere is expected at Dalymount Park tonight when up to 400 Dundalk fans are expected to make the trip down from Louth.

It will be the biggest away support in Dalymount for a league game since March 2020 but Long is concentrating on putting on a performance for Bohs fans, who have made their voices heard over the course of the easing of restrictions and return of supporters to games.

Long said: “Greater numbers attending games means we will have unbelievable backing both home and away.

“We will be fighting hard to finish the season as strongly as we possibly can.”

Bohemians have beaten the Lilywhites twice this season, including an impressive 5-1 win when the sides met at Dalyer in May.

But Dundalk have been in resurgent form of late and got the better of Long’s men at Oriel Park at the end of last month, as well as beating league leaders Shamrock Rovers last week.

Long is expecting another tough battle, but after no game in a fortnight due to Andy Lyons, Dawson Devoy and Ross Tierney being away with the Ireland U21s, his side come into the game refreshed, braced for another busy fixture schedule, and looking to build on their 4-1 victory away to Longford Town.

Long added: “It is important that we are focused on putting in a top class team performance.

“The lads have worked hard on the training ground since the Longford game, and we are looking forward to the run-in.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians are without Rory Feely (suspended), James Finnerty (groin) and Stephen Mallon (hip).

PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v FINN HARPS

BOHEMIANS v FINN HARPS
SSE Airtricity League
Friday September 24 2021
Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Exclusively live on LOITV

It is just 11 days since Bohemians beat tonight’s opposition but manager Keith Long will know his side will have to give everything to match that result.

Goals from Promise Omochere and Georgie Kelly were enough to give the Gypsies a 2-1 win on that occasion but Bohs teams have come unstuck against Ollie Horgan’s side on enough occasions to know what they are capable of.

While Bohs also beat Harps 4-0 in Dalymount earlier this season, they lost their previous two games on their final home game of 2020 and first away game of 2021.

Long said: “It is a short turnaround since our last meeting and we know how hard we will have to work and we know the performance required in order to achieve the desired outcome.

“This Finn harps team has quality throughout their ranks and strength in depth across the squad.”

Long’s side come into tonight’s game on the back of a rollercoaster 3-3 draw against Derry City on Monday.

While it took a 95th minute equalising goal from that man Georgie Kelly to claim a point having fallen behind three minutes previously, Bohs will still feel they left points behind them.

Having created many chances themselves, they left themselves far too exposed at times and were punished by a ruthless Candystripes attack line.

Long said: “It was an entertaining and high-scoring game but when I say entertaining, I mean for the neutral, as the game was very open and the goals we conceded were very much preventable.

“Offensively, we were very good and created many chances in the game with nine shots on target but the flipside of that is that Derry also created chances, and that is something that we will be keen to address.

“As disappointed as we were with some of our defending, the players stuck at it and never gave up – twice coming from behind and we salvaged a point at the death with a wonderfully taken goal by Georgie.”

Long is full of praise for the 24-year-old, who has really found his groove at Dalymount Park following his arrival from Dundalk at the start of the season after a mixed season on loan at St Patrick’s Athletic last year.

The man from Inishowen, who faces his home county team this evening, has helped himself to 16 league goals this term, the best return of any Bohs player since Jason Byrne’s haul of 22 in 2009.
Long said: “Georgie has been exceptional for us this season.

“He is a touch of class around the place and his gentle manner and nature is infectious.

“He is loved by us all here and we are delighted to see him play with such confidence, belief and quality.”

With games coming thick and fast, Long has urged the renewed vocal support behind the team to once again help them get results over the line.

He added: “As we enter the final straight, there will be many twists and turns. The support has been immense and we are so grateful for that.

“We will need that support and the Dalymount roar against Finn Harps and for the rest of our campaign.

“We want to represent our supporters as best we can on the pitch and we will be doing everything in our control to finish the season strongly.”

TEAM NEWS

Ali Coote (hamstring), Promise Omochere (hamstring) and Stephen Mallon (hip) are set to sit this one out.

PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v DERRY CITY

SSE Airtricity League
Monday September 20 2021
Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Exclusively live on LOITV

Bohemians assistant manager Trevor Croly has urged Bohemians to turn their games in hand into wins as they aim to break into the top three to secure European football for 2022.

The Gypsies are currently in fifth on 37 points with 24 games played.

They are eight points off third-placed Sligo Rovers who have 45 points from 27 games.

In between the two sides is tonight’s opposition, Derry City, who have 38 points from 26 games.

It makes for an intriguing clash at Dalymount Park tonight with both sides gunning to close the gap on the Bit O’Red.

It also sees the return of all members and season ticket holders to Dalyer for the first time in 564 days.

Croly said: “It’s a huge game.

“We have games in hand but you have got to go and win them and this is a big one.

“Our games against Derry have been tight this season and last. Ruaidhri Higgins has gone in and he has done a good job, so we know it is going to be tough again.”

There is a hectic fixture schedule between now and the end of the season as a result of postponements from international call-ups and clashes with European games.

But there was a brief reprieve on Friday as the favourable half-time 3-0 scoreline allowed manager Keith Long the opportunity to substitute key men Keith Buckley, Andy Lyons and Dawson Devoy.

Bohs had taken advantage of the visitors going down to ten men – the ex-Bohs U19 captain Alex Kelly saw red for a late challenge on his former team-mate Devoy – with Conor Levingston and Keith Ward adding to Buckley’s opener to put the game beyond doubt at the break.

The Gypsies went on to add a fourth, with Roland Idowu bagging a goal on his debut off the bench.

Croly added: “It was great to win on Friday and great to get four goals. It was important that we were focused and ready to go.

“It was a shame that the sending-off somewhat killed the game.

“But it was great for Roland to score on his debut, and to have the young lads in the team – Jamie Mullins and Aaron Doran from the start, and Robbie Mahon from the bench.

“It’s difficult trying to recover having played on Friday night but the good thing was we were able to make a few changes at half-time being 3-0 up and with Maynooth being down to 10.

“We were able to get some bodies off and manage minutes, spread minutes out a little bit, which normally you can’t do.”

TEAM NEWS

Georgie Kelly returns from suspension. Ali Coote (hamstring) and Liam Burt (groin) are doubts.

Promise Omochere, a late withdrawal from the starting XI on Friday with a hamstring strain, is ruled out alongside Stephen Mallon (hip).

Preview: Bohemians v Maynooth University Town

Extra.ie FAI Cup quarter-final
Friday September 17 2021
Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Exclusively live on LOITV
(Please note FAI Cup games are not included on LOITV season passes)

Keith Long believes his players are feeding off the renewed support they are getting from increased attendances at games and hopes that continues when Bohemians host Maynooth University Town at Dalymount Park tonight.

Long said: “What a difference it has been to have supporters back in greater numbers at games.

“The atmosphere was electric in the last round of the cup and that support was vital in helping us progress.

“Equally so the support away from home in Drogheda and in particular Donegal on Monday night in the lashings of rain was magnificent.”

That hard-fought 2-1 win against Shamrock Rovers in the previous round of the Cup has teed up tonight’s tie.

Facing non-league opposition, Long’s men are the overwhelming favourites but it is not in his make-up to take any team for granted.

Long said: “Our reward for beating Rovers in the last round is a home tie against Maynooth University Town who will come to Dalymount looking to cause an upset and will be well set up.

“I have no doubt that they will have done their homework and will be well organised. However we must focus on ourselves and try to put in the best performance we can.”

Bohs come into the game on the back of a mixed bag of results over the past week.

First they travelled to Drogheda last week where they fell apart in the first half, going in 3-0 down at the break. They were much improved in the second half, but still went home empty-handed with a 3-2 defeat.

Long said: “It was an awful first half display in which we conceded three goals from a combination of poor decision-making and neglecting the basics of the game.

“You cannot give goals away as cheaply as we did and despite totally dominating and creating chances in the second half, we didn’t have enough to get something from the game.

“We have been striving for a level of consistency and performance but the first half against Drogheda was nowhere near good enough for this team. We all have to take responsibility and must do better.”

They bounced back from that loss with an impressive win away to in-form Finn Harps. A result in Ballybofey is never easy, but particularly against a Harps side that won four and drew one of their last five games.

At 2-0, Bohs had chances to put the game beyond doubt but allowed Harps pull one back, which led to a nervy final ten minutes of the game, which tested Bohs’ resolve.

Long said: “I am glad we bounced back against Harps with a good performance and the players gave the perfect response. It was a deserved victory and despite conceding a goal ten minutes from time, we held on for the win.

“We probably should have won by more as we created several opportunities playing some really good football and it was the perfect response after falling flat against Drogheda.

“Unfortunately we lost Ali Coote early in the first half. Ali has been in superb form for us and has been pivotal to how we want to play so hopefully it’s not too serious.

“The introduction of Promise Omochere provided us with a different attacking dynamic scoring the first goal and causing problems throughout the game for Harps defence.

“It has been a difficult time for Promise but he has been training exceptionally well since his return from injury and has contributed well from the bench in recent games.

“It will do him the world of good scoring and it would be nice to see him produce the performances that he is capable of on a more consistent basis providing he can remain injury free.

“We must remember he is still young and whilst he has been at the club a long time now he is still learning the game and developing.

“A consistent run in the team and the avoidance of injuries will go a long way towards helping him fulfill his potential.”

TEAM NEWS

Georgie Kelly suspended following his red card in the previous round, so Promise Omochere could start up front against the university he attends. Stephen Mallon (hip) is out and Ali Coote (hamstring) is a doubt.

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