SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday 26 September, 7.45pm

Bwill take the same fighting attitude to Friday’s game against Limerick as they did to a tough derby match against Shamrock Rovers on Tuesday.

Manager Owen Heary and his squad are determined not to be seen as “just a side that turns up” or that “just sees out the season”.

“We still want to improve our performances. We still want to improve our home form. We still want to get a few more goals for Dinny, and there have to be more goals for us.”


As seen in recent games, his squad has bought into that approach fully. They faced Shamrock Rovers with a depleted squad: Steven Beattie and Roberto Lopes played 90 minutes despite being weakened by flu and finished “flat-out”.

“We work hard for each other. We close down the team facing us. We work as a unit. People can see the transformation since the start of the season,” said Heary.

“I thought we deserved the three points on Tuesday, but before the match, knowing we were down a lot of bodies, we would have taken the one point.”

Paddy Kavanagh and Keith Buckley covered very effectively for injured Kevin Devaney (toe) and suspended Eoin Wearen respectively.

“It was a very disciplined performance by the team. They were aggressive, they were on the front foot from the word ‘go’,” said Heary.

Strong tackles early in the game set the tone for Bohemians’ performance. “That’s what the game is missing at times. You should be allowed make aggressive tackles. There was nothing malicious there. I think referees are seeing that strong tackles can be good tackles, and they’re letting them go.”

Bohemians have overtaken Limerick in the league table but Heary expects another stiff test for his players, who also face a trip to Inchicore next Tuesday.

Limerick manager Martin Russell watched Bohemians in their last two league games and will have his team well prepared.

“We have beaten Limerick twice this year, in the cup and in the league. But they are like ourselves, they work hard and they have some strong, physical players. It will be another battle,” said Heary.

For Friday, Eoin Wearen and Jake Hyland return from suspension and Craig Walsh has served his ban but he is likely to be out with a quad injury. Kevin Devaney (toe) and Dan Byrne (cruciate) remain out.

Anto Murphy, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury, was on the bench on Tuesday and was trying to come on in added time for one of his trade-mark long throws. He is likely to a sub again on Friday as he continues to regain fitness



SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Tuesday 23 September, 7.45pm

Bohemian manager Owen Heary is preparing his players for “games coming thick and fast” as they face Tuesday’s rescheduled match against Shamrock Rovers, who themselves come to the game just three days after the EA Sports Cup final.

“Rovers will be chomping at the bit, especially after being beaten in a cup final. But we’ll be well prepared and ready for the game,” said Heary.

For Bohemians, this derby is followed by Limerick’s visit on Friday and a rescheduled game against St Patrick’s Athletic next Tuesday.

Heary has to cope with a longer injury and suspension list than at any other time in the season. Eoin Wearen, Craig Walsh and Jake Hyland are suspended. Kevin Devaney (toe) joins Anto Murphy (ankle, but back training) and Dan Byrne (cruciate) among the injured. Steven Beattie and Roberto Lopes have had flu and one at least may miss Tuesday’s game.

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Heary will not want to take chances with players who are less than fully fit, as he expects the derby to be “pacey” and “asking a lot of the players”.

“It will be a chance for other players to come in and play for their positions. Hopefully, they’ll take that opportunity,” he said.

Ryan McEvoy and Keith Buckley, ‘veterans’ of many Bohs-Rovers games, are likely to feature. “Bucko is a good player and he’s a bit unfortunate that Kevin Devaney has been playing so well. But Bucko knows what to expect coming into a game like Tuesday’s. He has that bit of experience.”

Heary thought his side were “unfortunate not to get three points” from Friday’s “scrappy enough” game in Athlone. “But our attitude was right going into the game and we took the game to them.  We need to have the same attitude on Tuesday.”


SSE Airtricity League, Lissywoollen, Friday 19 September, 7.45pm

Bohemians go to Athlone determined to show they have got over their FAI Cup quarter-final defeat.

Manager Owen Heary says his team were “gutted” at not making it to a semi-final. “But our job as coaching staff is to pick them up and get them focused on the league games.

“We don’t just want to see the season out. This will be a test of the players and ourselves, how we respond after being knocked out and, it might seem, with nothing much to play for.”

The narrow defeat to St Patrick’s Athletic was hard for players and coaches to take, said Heary. “When they had a player sent off we threw absolutely everything at them, got a goal back and we’re unfortunate not to get an equaliser.


“But the positive thing for me was that we didn’t go out with a whimper. We gave it everything.”

Bohemians are now fully concentrated on securing maximum points from the remaining league games to secure at least a mid-table finish.

“Last year the target was to avoid relegation, this year eighth or better, next year we’ll be aiming to go higher. If we can keep the basis of the team we now have for next season, we can improve further.”

Training has focused on set-pieces as half of the ten goals conceded in the last four games have come that source.

“We tidied up on that during the year, so it’s disappointing that we conceded from set pieces in recent games when we were well in the game or getting back into it,” said Heary. “That’s down to a lack of concentration and maybe thinking we’re safe.”

Bohemians face an Athlone side with a target to make it into the play-offs at worst. “Athlone have done well over recent weeks, they’ve turned a corner and I’m they’ll be fired up for Friday,” said Heary.

All Bohemians’ opponents in the coming games, including next Tuesday’s opposition, Shamrock Rovers, still with European ambitions, have something to fight for. “We have all the top teams, bar Dundalk, to play and I’m sure the fans would like to see us compete against these teams.”

For Friday Bohemians will be without Eoin Wearen (suspended), Ryan McEvoy (back injury), Dan Byrne (cruciate) and Anto Murphy (ankle). However, Murphy has returned to training and may make it back for next weekend.

His return would be a boost to the team, which has had to be shuffled and reshuffled to cover for absences at the back. Last Friday Steven Beattie was at left back, having earlier played at right back, on the wing and in attack.

“He has played every position except in goal. With our resources, those are kind of players we have to sign, who can play in numerous positions,” said Heary. Along with Beattie, Derek Pender, Kevin Devaney, Dave Mulcahy, Roberto Lopes and Keith Buckley are among those who have featured in two positions or more.


FAI Ford Cup quarter-final, Richmond Park, 12 September, 7.45pm

Bohemians face their third away tie in the FAI Ford Cup knowing that, this time, they will have strong support from their fans.

Derbies against St Patrick’s Athletic have often been tight and intense and the fans contribute to that, according to Bohemian manager Owen Heary.

“Every time we play in Inchicore our support is great. When the supporters are together it creates a great atmosphere for the lads,” he said.

“It’s one of the more enjoyable places to play because the crowd is on top of you.


“It will be a difficult game. They are in form themselves, not conceding goals. It’s a big ask for the lads but it’s one that they are all geared towards. When you come to the quarter-final stages, it’s all up for grabs.”

In three matches this season it has been honours even: Bohemians won at Dalymount in the EA Sports Cup, St Pat’s won at Inchicore in the league and the sides drew at Dalymount in their league encounter two months ago.

“For the club, this is massive,” said Heary. “If we get through to the semi-final, it’s extra finance and we can start thinking about getting to Europe, and that would be really massive, not only for the fans.”

Bohemians come to Friday’s game from a 3-2 defeat in Sligo on Monday. But Heary takes comfort from his side’s performance and believes they deserved something from the game.

“We were unfortunate not to get a result. A poor refereeing decision probably cost us getting something from the game,” he said. “We played extremely well, created a lot of chances and we could have scored more.”

Dave Mulcahy and Jason Byrne were rested on Monday and Eoin Wearen served an automatic suspension for his red card the previous Friday.

All three are available for the cup tie and they, along with Dinny Corcoran, Kevin Devaney and Karl Moore, who were on the bench for the first 70 minutes against Sligo, may be starters. Only long-term injuries, Anto Murphy (ankle) and Dan Byrne (cruciate), are ruled out.

The Sligo game was an opportunity for Heary to give game-time to other players whom he expects to call on again before the end of the season. Adam Evans (20) and Jake Hyland (19) made their first starts in the league and Hyland scored, bringing his tally to four goals in four games for the senior team. “Jake’s a good player and he’ll probably get more game-time this season,” said Heary.

Paddy Kavanagh returned to the starting line-up after a spell on the bench and was “excellent”.

Bohemians bring strong cup form and away form to Friday’s derby. They had three wins in the EA Sports Cup before going out, and they have beaten Premier Division opposition twice to get to the FAI Cup quarter-finals.

Bohemians have maintained a positive goal difference in away league matches, a record shared only with the top four in the table. They have had four of their seven league victories on the road.

Improved form in recent weeks is stirring interest in some Bohemian players. “That’s a killer, because we can’t compete with the top teams and we don’t want to be starting fresh again,” said Heary.

“If we do get to a cup final we might have that bit extra to help us keep more players.”

Things are looking up

SSE Airtricity League, The Showgrounds, Monday 8 September, 7.45pm

Just five points separate fifth-placed Sligo Rovers and ninth-placed Bohemians as the sides go head to head at the Showgrounds on Monday evening.

Bohs claimed their third home league win in a row with a 2-1 victory against Bray Wanderers on Friday night and with another game in hand, boss Owen Heary is hoping that another positive result can prove a springboard to climb into the top half of the table.

“Friday’s result keeps us safe,” said Heary. “We can now start looking at the teams ahead of us and not be worrying about the teams behind us.

“We’ve two games in hand on most teams. We want to win those and we want to go and try and finish ahead of the likes of Sligo.”


With one eye on Friday’s Ford FAI Cup quarter-final against St Patrick’s Athletic, Heary acknowledges the need to make changes but is adamant he will send out a side capable of winning all three points.

“It’s not an ideal time to have a game,” he said. “We’ve a massive cup game on Friday away to the league champions.

“But the team we put out in Sligo can’t allow that to distract them. The starting XI we put out will be good enough to go there and try to win.

“The players have confidence now and we’ve shown we are well capable of beating the top teams. We want that to continue.

“We don’t sit back – we want to get on the front foot, be positive and take games to the opposition as we have done.”

One enforced change will see Eoin Wearen watch the game from the stands as he serves a ban for a red card picked up against Bray on Friday.

“It was a silly red card,” added Heary. “It was a moment of madness but there is no point in us going on about it.

“He’s gutted with himself so as a team, we will rally behind him.

“Win, lose or draw, we do it as a team, so we will all get behind him and pick him back up.”

Heary is also without young defender Stephen Best (ankle) as well as long-term absentees Dano Byrne (cruciate) and Anto Murphy (ankle).

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