PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v SHAMROCK ROVERS

SSE Airtricity League
Friday November 12 2021
Dalymount Park, 7,45pm
Exclusively live on LOITV
Audio described commentary: access4all.bohemians.ie

With both the Jodi Stand and Des Kelly Stand packed out with Bohemians fans tonight, Keith Long hopes the Dalymount Roar can spur his side on to victory as they aim to remain in fourth place.

Long said: “With two games remaining, it is all to play for and we will be doing our very best to remain in fourth place.

“It is also our last home game of the season and I would like to thank our supporters all for all their brilliant support throughout the campaign.

“Our form in the league has been frustrating at times but one thing that has been consistent is our fans’ unwavering support for the team and their club.

“We will need that support in Dalymount one last time tonight, and again in Sligo next week to help us.”

Bohs took advantage of Derry City dropping points against Finn Harps as Sunday’s 2-1 win over Drogheda United to finally leapfrog the Candystripes.

Long said: “That was a hard-fought win, which moved us into fourth place in the table.”

Maintaining that position will be easier said than done. But Bohs have shown this season that they are capable of putting it up to tonight’s visitors.

Long said: “This game is huge for us in terms of trying to secure a European place through the league.

“Shamrock Rovers have consistently been the best team this season and they are deserving champions.

“Stephen has produced back to back titles for his club and along with his players and staff deserve great credit for their achievements.”

TEAM NEWS

Andy Lyons, Dawson Devoy and Ross Tierney are unavailable as they are with the Ireland U21s.

Rory Feely is suspended, Georgie Kelly (calf) remains out, while James Talbot (groin) is a doubt.

Stephen Mallon (hip) is available for selection.

Gavin O’Brien, Seán Grehan, James McManus and Aaron Doran are promoted to the first-team squad from the Bohemians U19s.

PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v DROGHEDA UTD

SSE Airtricity League
Sunday November 7 2021
Dalymount Park, 5pm
Match tickets: tickets.bohemians.ie
Exclusively live on LOITV

The battle for fourth is between four teams but Bohemians once again have the opportunity to move into pole position if they win against Drogheda United this evening.

Keith Long’s men failed to capitalise twice in recent weeks to leapfrog Derry City into fourth but will be hoping for third time lucky against Drogs at Dalymount.

But that will be easier said than done against Tim Clancy’s men who have beaten and drawn with Bohs this season; the Gypsies winning 5-0 when the sides last met in Dalymount in July the outlier of those three performances.

Long said: “Drogheda have had a fine season upon their return to the Premier Division and are more than a match for any team.

“Our respective league positions shows how tight it has been between the two teams this year and the points have been shared to date in the three previous encounters.

“Tonight we will be looking to make home advantage count and get back to winning ways in the league.”

Bohs come into the game after a mixed couple of weeks. Winning the FAI Cup semi-final against Waterford was an unbelievable high, but they came crashing down to earth with defeat against the same opposition in the league three days later.

That was followed by the concession a poor injury-time equaliser after an otherwise impressive performance against Derry City in the Brandywell.

Against St Patrick’s Athletic on Monday, Bohs were extremely fortunate to be only 2-0 down, but battled back to draw 2-2 and had plenty of opportunities to go on and win it too.

Long said: “Tonight we will be looking to build on the second half performance in Inchicore and tidy up on some of the costly errors. If we can do that we give ourselves every chance.

“Our recent form has been very mixed and we have been our own worst enemy at times with some of the goals we have conceded as a team.

“The basics of the game need to be done brilliantly every time and that’s not something we can say we have done consistently this season. It has been frustrating for us all but we have to continue to work hard in our attempts to improve.

“This group of players are very much together and although they may disappoint at times they never stop trying and will always give it their best.

“They have not been helped with the volume of games they have been exposed to with very little time for recovery and preparation. I am conscious that my words can be perceived as excuses but I can only offer an insight into my thoughts.

“It has been extremely trying to play games every three days. Monday against St Pat’s was our sixth game in 18 days, which is the second time we have had to do that this season. We have played 10 games Monday/Friday weekends, five of which were originally scheduled.

“This is not a sustainable workload for any group of players and we have suffered in my view as a club for developing young players and the lack of vision regarding our fixture calendar.

“I am not suggesting that this is the sole reason why we find ourselves in the position that we are in – we have lost or drawn too many games this year – but it certainly hasn’t helped at a defining time of the season.

“As a backroom team we have made the decision, for the welfare of the players and the greater good of the squad, to play our game against Shamrock Rovers this Friday without the players who are away with the Ireland U21 squad.

“We felt we had no other choice considering the alternative was to play our games on Thursday 4th and Sunday 7th of November, which would have seen us play eight games in 24 days, and then nothing until the 19th of November.

“This was just not feasible in our view, and it would be completely wreckless on our part had we agreed. By doing this, we at least have a better chance and more days to recover and prepare for tonight’s game, and likewise for the Rovers game on Friday.

“Drogheda find themselves in a situation quite similar to us but this situation was utterly avoidable from the outset as it was raised as a concern last season but was never acted upon.

“Managers and coaches are key stakeholders in the game but are very often overlooked when it comes to conversations directly relating to football.

“I am sure the issue will be addressed next season but for us as a club it is disappointing that with so much at stake we find ourselves in this position.”

TEAM NEWS

Andy Lyons (illness) is a doubt, while Georgie Kelly (calf) and Stephen Mallon (hip) remain out.

PREVIEW: DERRY CITY v BOHEMIANS

SSE Airtricity League
Friday October 29 2021
Ryan McBride Stadium, 7.45pm
Exclusively live on LOITV.ie

Bohemians travel to the Brandywell this evening looking to do what they failed to do on Monday night – leapfrog Derry City into fourth place in the table.

Derry’s defeat to Drogheda United last Friday gave Bohs the opportunity to move ahead of them when Waterford came to Dalymount Park on Monday.

But missed chances and poor defending saw Bohs succumb to a 2-1 defeat to the side they had beaten in the FAI Cup semi-final just three days previously.

It was a frustrating night for the Gypsies but defender Ciarán Kelly says the team have dusted themselves down and are fully focused on making amends against Rúaidhrí Higgins’ Candystripes this evening.

He said: “Monday certainly wasn’t our best performance. We had chances to win the game but we didn’t take them and we didn’t defend well enough.

“It is a strange season where there is only nine points between third and second from bottom.

“It is up to us now to get as many points as we can from our last five games and finish as high up the table as we can.

“The aim is to qualify for Europe through the league, and to go into the FAI Cup final in form.

“We got a lot of plaudits for our performances in Europe this season but the challenge for all of us is to make sure we are there again next season.”

Getting a result on Foyleside is never easy but it will be all the more difficult this time around as the Gypsies are missing several key men.

Keith Buckley (groin), vice-captain Rob Cornwall (ankle), Liam Burt (knee), Stephen Mallon (hip) and Georgie Kelly (calf) are all ruled out.

But Kelly has challenged those who are afforded an opportunity as a result of those absences to seize the day.

He added: “We have a squad for a reason. We have good quality young players who can come in and it is up to anyone who gets a chance to prove their worth and stake their claim.

“It is always a tough game against Derry City but we have to focus on our own game and make sure that is right.

“There’s going to be a great crowd up there tonight and it is up to us to give our fans who travel up something to cheer about and to hopefully send them home happy.”

Preview: Bohemians v Waterford

SSE Airtricity League
Monday October 25 2021
Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Exclusively live on LOITV.ie
Audio-described commentary: access4all.bohemians.ie
Match tickets: tickets.bohemians.ie

There is familiar opposition at Dalymount Park tonight as Bohemians host Waterford in the SSE Airtricity League just three days after doing so in the Extra.ie FAI Cup semi-final.

There was a lot riding on that game with a place November 28th Aviva Stadium decider up for grabs.

Georgie Kelly’s late, late effort after a terrific ball in by Promise Omochere settled that in Bohs’ favour but there is a lot riding on tonight’s game too, and the Gypsies will be hoping the Jodi Stand is in full voice once more.

For the hosts, it is a chance – after Sligo Rovers drew with Finn Harps and Derry City lost to Drogheda United – to move up to fourth with a win as Keith Long’s side aim to qualify for Europe through the league.

For the visitors, it is a chance to leapfrog Harps and move out of the relegation play-off position once more.

So while Bohs fans are still basking in the joys of Friday’s semi-final victory, Long’s men are fully focused on the task at hand.

Friday’s game was a tense and energy-sapping one, so Long is likely to have his hand forced when it comes to assessing tired bodies and who is fit to play this evening.

He said: “We have some injury concerns ahead of the game but we will give the lads every chance to be fit with so little time for recovery .

“All our efforts and focus is on finishing the season as strongly as we can and finishing as high up the table as possible.

“Every game is tough in this division and especially at this time of the year when results can be unpredictable.

“We are in the middle of another tough period of games and we will need everyone fit and ready.

“We’ve six games left and have to give everything to make sure we’re fighting for Europe through the league. We’re very much in the hunt.

“We have to get back into Europe and we are going to try to do it through the league. It would be nice to secure at least fourth going into the cup final.”

While his attention is now on those remaining six league games, speaking directly after Friday’s game, Long did allow himself to enjoy the achievement of the club reaching its first FAI Cup final in 13 years.

He said: “The win was more for the supporters than anyone. They’re craving a day out and we’ve given them something to look forward to.

“It is a big step for some of the young players we’ve got in this group too.

“The club is built for success now because we’ve built sustainably for the last few years.

“We haven’t been frivolous because we can’t as we’re a members’ club. I think everybody can see the direction the club has been going.”

TEAM NEWS

Fatigue after the short turnaround could lead to enforced changes to the starting XI.

Stephen Mallon (hip) remains ruled out, while Bohs-SKB and Ireland U17 midfielder James McManus has been promoted to the first-team squad for this game.

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.”

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