“We know it will be a difficult game”

Galway United v Bohemians
SSE Airtricity League, Eamonn Deacy Park, Friday 15 May, k-o 7.45pm

Bohemians make back-to-back trips to Galway this weekend as they look to maintain their unbeaten away record in the league and advance to the EA Sports Cup semi-finals.

Keith Long’s side twice face Galway United, who have had recent victories over Derry City, Bray Wanderers and Limerick.

“Against Limerick last Friday we got the desired result and we’re pleased with that. But we switched off at times and Limerick came more and more into it.

“The equaliser woke us up and we created quite a number of chances in the last 15 minutes,” said Long.


Three substitutions contributed to Bohs’ eventual victory, which Long sees as a success for the squad. While Jason Byrne’s winning goal “grabbed the headlines”, fellow-subs Marc Griffin and Keith Buckley also were key to the victory.

“I’m very pleased for Jason because he’s had limited game-time. That goal will be good for his confidence, which he needs, even with all the experience he has,” said Long.

“You hope that the substitutions have a positive impact, and certainly all three did on Friday.

“We’ll have to play better in Galway. We will go there aiming to give a good account of ourselves and looking to pick up the three points. But we know it will be a difficult game.”

Long insists he will not decide on possible team changes for Monday until the league match is out of the way. For Friday, he has a full squad to select from.

Anto Murphy missed the Limerick game on medical advice, following a mild concussion from the previous league match, but returned for Sunday’s fixture as captain on the day.

“The players refuse to accept they are beaten”

SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday 8 May, 7.45pm

Bohemians start the second cycle of league games playing Limerick, against whom they got off to a flying start with a 3-0 win two months ago.

Manager Keith Long is putting the first phase of the campaign behind him as he aims, game-by-game, to keep Bohemians in the top half of the league.

After a “vital” point at home on Monday against Cork City, Long is looking to improve Bohemians’ Dalymount results.


“It was vital to get at least a point at home against one of the top teams, after losses to Dundalk and St Pat’s,” he said. “The team showed great character and spirit to secure a draw. For the supporters, it probably felt like a win, scoring so late in the game.”

Long notes that Limerick’s form has been improving and he expects a keen contest. “Limerick have picked up recently. They were unlucky not to win against Shamrock Rovers, they held league leaders Dundalk, and they got a late point up in Sligo. They’re looking to climb up the table and coming to Dalymount won’t hold any fear for them.

“But these are the bread-and-butter games we have to win. We’ve stressed to the players that there is no room for complacency. The first phase of games is gone now, and we start again on Friday.”

Against Cork on Monday, the Bohemian manager was disappointed with his team’s first-half performance, going behind very early, and being “a little tentative in approach, giving the ball away too easily on occasions”.

But “the players are hungry, have a belief in themselves, and refuse to accept they are beaten”, the manager insists. Their determination in the second half and a brilliant volleyed goal from Adam Evans more than made up for the first-half disappointment.

Defender Anto Murphy, subbed at half-time after a collision, is unlikely to be available on Friday as he is medically assessed for concussion. The opportunity for Dan Byrne to make his return comes just too soon, however, as he works his way back to full fitness after a long lay-off with a cruciate injury.

Dean Kelly missed the Cork game due to a family commitment but is available for Friday.

Sunday’s Leinster Senior Cup fixture in Bray against Newtown gives Long a further chance to try different combinations and use players who have had few competitive games.

“We’ll have a turnover between Friday and Sunday,” he said. “We have players who need games and we need to see them in action with big games the following weekend away to Galway Friday and Monday in the league and EA Sports Cup.”


SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Monday 4 May, 5.10pm

Bohemian manager Keith Long is asking his players to “express themselves” as his team faces a major test against Cork City on Monday.

This contest for a place in the league’s top three comes after Bohemians came from a goal down to win in Derry.

“We’ve asked the players to express themselves on the pitch. They’ve shown in their performances that they have a belief in what they are doing,” said Long.


“Winning breeds confidence and we’ve done well so far. But we won’t take any team for granted and we won’t be complacent.

“We bounced back well from the home defeat to St Pat’s. If we can finish off the first series of games with a win against Cork, that would be fantastic.”

Starting in Derry with two strikers for the first time, Bohemians had to adapt when going behind. “It was a hard-fought win and that’s what you have to do at the Brandywell. Dean Delany made a wonderful save at the end to secure the win.”

The goals came from excellent team-work as well as individual skill, Lopes laying off to Dillon and Kavanagh crossing for Griffin to score.

Bohemians have tried different combinations up-front in training and Long has several more options. “Griff[in] can play out wide too. Different games, different horses for courses, we’ll change things up as we see fit.”

Long has a full squad to choose from, with Robbie Creevy fully fit and Dan Byrne back in competitive training for over a week after his long lay-off.

“We have everybody available and we need everybody pushing to achieve whatever it is we can achieve. At this stage, we don’t know what that is but we cannot and will not get ahead of ourselves” the manager said.

“But it’s no longer a question of just a good start. The league doesn’t lie and twenty points from ten games is a decent return.

“We have surprised many people so far and we’ve probably surprised ourselves to a certain extent. But I believe in the players and in the mentality of this group and I think there’s more in them.”


SSE Airtricity League, Brandywell, Friday 24 April, k-o 7.45pm

Bohemians travel to the north-west for the second time this week aiming to preserve their unbeaten away record this season.

“Derry is a tough place to go and a tough place to get anything from. But I, along with the backroom team and the players, believe we can go there and put in a good performance which we hope will lead to a positive result,” said manager Keith Long.

“The results we have had on the road so far give us confidence and we’ll go there in good spirit.”


Long credits the players with building a strong spirit in the camp. “The players have to be admired for how they have taken ownership of their performances to date,” he said.

“We give them a structure to play in, but the players deserve a lot of credit for how they have conducted themselves and how they have performed so far this year.”

However, Long believes his team could and should have got more from Monday’s game against Sligo Rovers.

“We created the outstanding chances in the game, so it does feel like two points dropped.

“Sligo are a good team despite their indifferent start to the season, so we’re not too disappointed to come away with a point. However, I did feel we had enough clear-cut chances in the game to get the three points.”

The Bohemian manager gave first league-starts of the campaign to midfielders Dave Mulcahy and James O’Brien and was pleased with how that worked out.

“Obviously, Dave is an experienced player and that experience was important to us on the night and will be as we go forward. James offers the team something different as an attack-minded midfielder with an eye for goal.

“He slipped a great pass to Dean Kelly that could have given us the winning goal late in the game. We have a squad that we trust to put in the performances when we ask them.”

Long does admit to some disappointment at the performance in last weekend’s home game against St Patrick’s Athletic.

“Our job is to entertain and I felt that in front of such a big crowd we possibly missed an opportunity. People may have come out for the first time this season, or for the first time in a while, and it was a chance to get them back on board.

“We didn’t play to our potential. The performance wasn’t as good as I hoped for, or as good as I know we can play. I came away from that game thinking we didn’t do ourselves justice and we didn’t give the supporters what they deserve.”

Long insists the team will get better as the season goes on. “I keep reinforcing to the players that they can improve and the good thing is they’re not shying away from that. They know they can get better,” he said.

Robbie Creevy (ankle) missed the Sligo game and will face a late fitness test for Friday. After a long lay-off with a cruciate injury, Dan Byrne returned this week to full training – “a great positive for the club”, according to manager Long.


Monday April 20th, The Showgrounds, 7.45pm 

Bohemian manager Keith Long has challenged his side to show more guile up front when they travel to face Sligo Rovers tonight.

The Gypsies slipped to only their second defeat of the season on Friday when St Patrick’s Athletic came away from Dalymount Park with a 1-0 victory.

Bohs came close to claiming a share of the spoils, but Long wants to see his side create more attacking opportunities from open play.

“I thought Friday was a missed opportunity,” he said. “We had a big crowd behind us and we’re in the entertainment business but we didn’t take advantage of that.


“We didn’t create enough chances throughout the game. We were okay with some set-pieces but we lacked guile in open play despite having lots of the ball. That’s something I want us to improve on tonight.”

Long says his side have “lots of little niggles” from Friday’s game, but the only main concern is Robbie Creevy (ankle) and long-term absentee Dan Byrne, who is making steady progress in rehabilitation from his cruciate injury.

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