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All the latest club news and updates from Dalymount Park.

“We want to finish the season on a high with as many points as we can”

Preview: Dundalk v Bohemians
SSE Airtricity League
Friday October 16 2020, Oriel Park, 5.45pm
Live on WatchLOI

Bohemians head to Oriel Park with European football secured but looking to go one further by confirming second place.

For Michael Barker, it is also another opportunity to show what he is capable of having had to wait nearly eight months to see any action in the SSE Airtricity League.

Like many others, the 27-year-old has had to bide his time as a combination of the truncated season with fewer games and Bohemians’ fine form has limited opportunities.

Having featured in Bohs’ opening four league games of the season, Barker’s only action since February came in last month’s FAI Cup win over Cabinteely.

But with just over ten minutes remaining in Bohs’ 3-0 win over Cork City last week, an ankle injury suffered by Rob Cornwall provided Barker with his chance.

He is likely to deputise this evening once more in place of Cornwall, who is ruled out on his 26th birthday.

Barker said: “It was a long time coming! It’s been a tough season for those of us who have had to bide our time. So it was nice to get back on the pitch, even if it was only for a few minutes.

“That’s the nature of the reduced season with there being no midweek games or EA Sports Cup games this year. The team has been doing so well and the performances have been so good, that it would be hard for the manager to change the team.

“We just have to keep pushing ourselves. Training is very intense and you don’t want to take your foot off the pedal and be ready when called upon.”

Barker played a big role in the club qualifying for Europe last season, with manager Keith Long recently highlighting that his injury-time winner in Waterford last June and the jubilant scenes that followed as the point that the team really believed they could do it.

The defender says that is a moment he will never forget, but is delighted the team has repeated the feat again this year with three games left to play.

Covid-19 has robbed fans the opportunity to celebrate that achievement in the way they did last time around, but having gone eight years without European football, nobody is taking it for granted.

Barker said: “It was a lot different to last season! It was on the cards for a few weeks now, which is a testament to how well the team has done.

“The fact that anything less would have been seen as a disappointment tells you how far the club, team and management have come in recent years. There are quality players at the club and they deserve to be playing in European competitions.

“Everyone in the squad has contributed. It has been a very enjoyable season despite all the disruption. It bodes well for next year.

“It’s huge for the club and the area and most importantly the fans. That was the one downside of Europe this season was not having them over with us in Hungary. Hopefully that might change next year.”

Bohs have won three on the trot but face a Dundalk team who have regrouped and improved under Filippo Giovagnoli.

Barker added: “We know Dundalk are one of the best teams in the country, if not the best. They had that dip earlier in the season but since the new manager came in they have turned a corner.

“They have been brilliant of late and have reminded us of how good they can be with their run in Europe.

“But regardless of who we are playing, we want to win.

“Finishing second would represent an improvement on last season so we want to finish the season on a high with as many points as we can.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians are without Rob Cornwall (ankle) while one player is ruled out as a result of testing positive for Covid-19 and another is self-isolating having been deemed a close contact.

Dundalk v Bohemians - Club Friendly

FIRST TEAM PLAYER TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

Bohemians can confirm that a first-team player has tested positive for Covid-19 and that another, deemed a close contact, is also self-isolating as a result.

The player who tested positive last trained with the team on Tuesday October 6th, was tested on Saturday October 10th, and received his result on Monday October 12th.

He will remain in self-isolation and following all public health guidelines until he is permitted to resume training on Tuesday October 20th.

We are happy to confirm that both the player who tested positive and the player deemed a close contact are asymptomatic.

The latter has also had a test for Covid-19, which thankfully came back negative. He will also resume training on Tuesday October 20th.

Bohemians made no request for tomorrow’s game away to Dundalk to be rescheduled and are happy that the fixture will proceed as planned.

Bohemians returned to training at Dalymount Park on Monday - Sportsfile

“The players are hungry to improve, to learn and develop”

Preview: Bohemians v Cork City
SSE Airtricity League
Friday October 9 2020, Dalymount Park, 5.45pm

Keith Long has challenged Bohemians to build upon back-to-back victories as they go in search of their highest league position in a decade.

Victories at home to Derry City a fortnight ago and away to Shelbourne last Saturday have consolidated Bohs’ position in second place.

A win this evening and victory against Dundalk next week would secure second, but Long is never one to get ahead of himself.

Cork City are the visitors to Dalymount and arrive after the departure of manager Neale Fenn, with Colin Healy taking the reins.

The Leesiders came to Dublin 7 in similar circumstances last season following John Caulfield’s exit from the club – and left with all three points.

Long said: “Tonight’s game will be very difficult despite their current league position. They are fighting for every point and are dangerous opponents with some quick, clever natural footballers so we are very aware of the threats they possess.

“What is important for us is to continue to grow as a group, to focus on improving every week. We have a very young squad which needs reminding from time to time.

“The players are hungry to improve, to learn and develop and they are essential ingredients as we try to finish the season strongly.

“We have recorded back to back victories in the league. We conducted our own version of the great escape against Derry City a fortnight ago – a dramatic conclusion to a game we scarcely deserved anything from. It did however highlight the perseverance of the players who kept going until the very end.

“We had a better team performance in Tolka Park. Danny Grant took his goals really well and it was great for him to get his first hat-trick in senior football.”

While Grant stole the headlines, Long was keen to praise another man whose efforts while the game was in the balance gave Bohs momentum.

Long said: “A crucial penalty save from James Talbot at a critical point in the game kept us ahead and allowed us to get ahead even further with two more goals from Danny.

“James has had a tough spell since his injury sustained on the opening day of the season. He has had to be patient with the form of Stephen McGuinness in his absence and upon our return but his attitude to training and around the group has been first class and he is getting his rewards at the moment for that.

“James is an outstanding goalkeeper and we are lucky to have two players of that calibre in that position pushing each other hard in training for the number one jersey.

“The derby and football in general is not the same without supporters. I can only imagine the scenes with our supporters in the ground. We miss you all not being there and it’s something I don’t think any of us can or will get used to as we continue to live with Covid.”

Bohs go into the final four league games of the season with a trimmed squad.

Kris Twardek and Luke Wade-Slater have left the club for Jagiellonia Białystok and Larne respectively, while Ciarán Kelly has joined Ballymena United on loan until January.

Long added: “Sadly last Saturday was the last time we saw Kris in a Bohs jersey. Kris has been such a tremendous addition to our squad this season and it is with great regret that we lose him. He gave everything in his short time here and we wish him well for the future with his new club in Poland.

“Also leaving the club on loan is Ciaran Kelly. Ciaran is under contract with us next year and is a lad that we have high hopes for. The shortened season has meant there are not as many opportunities for players to play every week.

“Our squad was built for games on Friday/Monday/Friday over the first quarter of the season and for Europe but obviously Covid put paid to that with the result being fewer games.

“It is extremely frustrating for players not to play every week and I have huge empathy for them. We also have to manage the potential of the team and our form since the return has been very good, so that means limited change.

“It can be difficult for players and it is not ideal but it’s the situation we currently find ourselves in and we have to adapt accordingly.”

TEAM NEWS

Danny Mandroiu is away with the Ireland U21s.

Shelbourne v Bohemians - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

“We need to start games fast and come out flying”

Shelbourne v Bohemians
SSE Airtricity League
Saturday October 3 2020, 7.30pm
Live on WatchLOI

Bohemians are aiming to turn luck into momentum when they make the short trip to Tolka Park tonight.

Anto Breslin was perhaps Bohs’ best performer in the smash-and-grab win against Derry City last week.

Keith Long’s men trailed for a 92 minutes at Dalymount Park, creating little, before first a Keith Ward penalty and then a last-gasp winner from Andre Wright from Breslin’s cross sealed all three points in the most unlikeliest of circumstances.

Breslin, who joined from Longford at the start of the season having previously been with Wolves, said: “Luck was very much on our side. We didn’t play anywhere near as well as we are capable of.

“But we showed what we are made of. There is great character in the team at the best of times but we had it in abundances last week.

“I don’t know of many teams who can say they’ve been 1-0 down for 92 minutes and have gone on to win the game.

“It was nice to have a bit of luck go our way for once. There have been plenty of occasions this season where we should have had penalties but they haven’t been given.

“When luck goes your way you have to enjoy it. Another week it might go the other way.”

Breslin knows Bohs won’t get away with it like that every week and will need to improve in Drumcondra tonight against a Shelbourne side that contains several former Bohemians who are battling to stay away from a relegation scrap.

3,560 were in attendance at Dalymount Park when these sides last met back in March – the final game before Covid-19 restrictions kicked in – and Breslin admits the team have had to try and create their own atmosphere of togetherness in the continued absence of fans in stadiums since.

He said: “Shelbourne are a very organised team, hard to break down and good at set-pieces.

“It’s going to be strange to have another Dublin derby without fans and without an atmosphere, but we know they are behind us from home.

“It’s up to us as a group to create our own atmosphere. We’ve five games left and we want to qualify for Europe and finish as high up the table as possible.

“The performance was disappointing last week. We want to improve on that. The previous week against Sligo, we were really good. We could have been out of sight at half-time. We need to find that consistency every week.

“But against Derry, we didn’t start well and conceded early. We need to learn from that. We need to start games fast and come out flying.”

Despite very able competition from Paddy Kirk, Breslin has been a mainstay at left-back this season having had big boots to fill following the departure of his fellow former St Kevin’s prodigy Darragh Leahy to Dundalk.

Breslin added: “I’ve been delighted with how it’s gone. Darragh was a great player here but I was confident in my own ability and knew what I was capable of.

“I certainly found it difficult at the start. The intensity in training is far greater to what I was used to at Longford. I had maybe lost that little bit of sharpness since coming back from England, so there was a period of having to adapt.

“There’s a great bunch of lads here who keep pushing each other. It’s not just one player, it’s the whole team. You can’t have a night off!

“Everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet. It’s unfortunate that because of the shortened season that some of the lads haven’t got as much game-time as they would have hoped for.

“But it’s a credit to them that you wouldn’t know they are out of the team if you watch us train. Everyone just keeps pushing each other so that they are ready to play if called upon.”

TEAM NEWS

Kris Twardek (suspension) and James Finnerty (illness) are available once more.

Ciarán Kelly has joined Ballymena United on loan. He will return to the club in January.

Bohemians FC 2020 Jersey Launch

Keith Long and Trevor Croly pay tribute to Robbie Brunton

The Bohemians management team of Keith Long and Trevor Croly have paid tribute to Robbie Brunton after his sad passing this morning at the age of just 47.

Brunton was a favourite at Dalymount Park in his spell with the club between 1998 and 2000.

His affinity with Bohs lasted beyond his playing career – he was a regular in Dalyer in recent years with his two sons Ryan and Darragh.

Long said: “It is absolutely devastating for his wife and children. To lose your father at 47 is incredibly cruel, and our thoughts and prayers are with them all.

“I played against him all the way up, and played with him on representative teams at underage levels before playing with him at Stoke City.

“As a player, he was a tough competitor. We had some great battles when we were both back in the League of Ireland when he was at Sligo and Bohs, and I was at Dundalk and St Pat’s.

“But it was particularly great to see him again in the last few years coming to games with his sons, who are both Junior Gypsies.

“Robbie suffered silently and put on a brave face, so coming to Dalymount was very much a relief and outlet for him over the last number of years.

“He often offered a welcome opinion to myself or Trevor on how things were going. He will be sorely missed around the place, and my heart goes out to his wife and two sons.”

Croly said: “Robbie grew up in Dunard, I grew up in Arbour Hill, and we played together at Belvo.

“I used to get lifts with Robbie and his father to games – they would collect me at the Cattle Market. We weren’t just team-mates, we became good friends from travelling together.

“He was Belvo through and through. He was with them from the age of seven with their U9s. He went away to Stoke but always kept in touch and kept in touch with the Belvo boys right until the end.

“He was a cracking footballer. Tough… he’d go through you! But he wasn’t just a great player, he was a great bloke too.

“He had a real affinity to Bohs. He remained good friends with many of the Bohs team of that era, the likes of Donal Broughan, Derek Swan, Shaun Maher and others.

“Since becoming ill, he would never complain. He would always have his next target to look forward to, usually a Rovers game.

“Coming down to Dalymount with his two boys was very important to him. He had a great love of Bohs, and a great dislike of Rovers!

“He would always send me a text on the Friday before our game, and another one on the Saturday after the game. He was very blunt and would tell you where we went wrong!

“We are going to miss him.”

Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers - Harp Lager League Cup

Robbie Brunton: Obituary and tribute

Robbie Brunton played much of his football in the pre-internet age so hard facts about the hard man who had a soft heart and a classy left foot are not easy to come by.

One report claims he picked up 13 red cards in his career, a tally that’s hard to stand up, but one thing is clear from his time as a footballer: Brunton was a fighter, a fighter who was tragically taken away at the age of 47 after a battle with cancer.

No medals came his way but fans and team-mates of the nine clubs he represented will remember the Dubliner, especially those at Sligo Rovers and Bohemians, where he had his best years in the 1990s.

He was usually scrapping at the wrong end of the table, but did it with success. His first season at Bohemians, 1998/99, turned into an unexpected relegation battle, which Roddy Collins’ side won, staying up by beating Cobh Ramblers.

He is listed in the folklore of Newry Town, as it was a goal from the Dubliner which saw Newry avoid relegation from the top flight in 2003, when they beat Bangor.

“The 1st Leg was drawn 0-0 at Bangor but in the 2nd leg at the Showgrounds with just nine minutes remaining the Town were level at 1-1. Had this scoreline remained until the final whistle, Newry would have lost the overall tie on the away goals rule and the club would have been relegated. Robbie Brunton however scored from a 81st minute penalty and preserved the club’s place in the top grade,” recalls the club history of the club that became Newry City.

Back in the day, boy scouts in Ireland were taught a prayer which said they would “toil and not to seek for rest, labour and look for no reward”. Robbie Brunton had to toil and labour, usually with little or no reward.

So often he missed the boat which was ultimately bound for glory: he joined Sligo Rovers in the summer of 1994, just after the side had won a treble. He joined Derry City in 1997 when they were reigning champions but who then made a poor attempt at defending their league title.

He spent two years at Bohs and didn’t win a trophy – within a year of his exit Bohs, the club Brunton would come to support once his playing career was finished, were Premier Division champions.

It looked as if he would miss out on his best chance of a medal, the FAI Cup final in 1999/2000, as a red card (yes, he did get some) left him with a three-game suspension which would have sidelined him for the Cup final.

Bohs’ opponents in the final, Shelbourne, faced a similar dilemma as Paul Doolin was also facing a ban. The rule book was read and re-read, decisions were taken, and Brunton and Doolin got to play in the final, where Robbie was on the losing side.

He played in European football, but again mainly without the glory that would later come the way of his former club Dundalk: Brunton was sent off 30 minutes into his European debut, for Sligo against Floriana of Malta, although the side got through, so he did play a role in the club’s first-ever European win, and he returned to play against Bruges in the next round. There were heavy defeats in Europe while in the employ of Dundalk and Coleraine.

After he left Bohs, Robbie did another Discover Ireland tour, spells at Kilkenny City, Monaghan United, Dundalk, Newry Town and Crusaders, mostly out of the limelight as that Cup defeat to Shels in 2000 was the closest he’d come to a medal.

Yet Sligo fans always retained a soft spot for Brunton on his returns there with opposing teams. Sligo had plenty of half-hearted players over the years who were only there for the money, so the supporters appreciated the committed ones like Brunton.

Many players drop off the radar once their own playing careers are finished but Robbie was a regular at Dalymount Park in the last number of years: like any fan he was frustrated by the lows but utterly delighted with the highs and he was a big supporter of the project headed up by Keith Long, someone who would have been an opponent many times in their playing careers.

He was never jealous of the players who picked up the medals which he missed out on, but was proud of the efforts he put in for the clubs which employed him.

Some careers can be ranked by the medals won, others by the sheer effort put in, and then the fondness which was returned by supporters for those efforts.

Robbie Brunton gave his all for every club he played for and as someone of a similar age (Robbie was a year and three days younger than me), his loss at 47 is heartbreaking.

His boys, Darragh and Ryan, were regulars with him at Dalymount and all three would be seen wearing a Bohs scarf in the Jodi Stand.

As a player, he wore the shirt of Bohs, and Sligo and Coleraine and Dundalk and others, with pride and played with valour.

May he rest in peace.

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Robbie Brunton 2/4/2000

“I want to kick on from last year”

Preview: Bohemians v Derry City
SSE Airtricity League
September 25 2020, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Live on WatchLOI and
audio described commentary is available (link live from 7.20pm)

James Talbot is a team player but can be forgiven for looking out for No 1 having had to wait seven months to win back his place in the Bohemians starting XI.

The 23-year-old suffered a foot injury in the opening day of the season defeat to Shamrock Rovers in February and had to bide his time thanks to the combination of Stephen McGuinness’ form and the disruption caused to the football calendar by Covid-19.

With six clean sheets from 10 league games to his name, McGuinness impressed, but Talbot will be hoping to retain his place against Derry City having kept Sligo Rovers scoreless last Friday.

Talbot, whose only game-time this term came in an FAI Cup win against Cabinteely, said: “On a personal level, I was over the moon to get back into the team. It was a long time coming and was made even longer because of the Covid break.

“But that break gave me time to recover properly from my injury too and I’ve worked very hard in training to get back into the team.

“The whole squad has been working hard, we keep pushing each other.”

An ever-present in the team last year with 17 clean sheets from 36 league games, Talbot’s 2019 form saw him earn an Ireland call-up and an SSE Airtricity Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Player of the Month Award.

Having had big gloves to fill following the retirement of Shane Supple at the end of 2018, it was mission accomplished for Finglas man Talbot in his debut season at Dalymount Park.

To go from that to playing second fiddle for much of this term was testing. But Talbot is a team player – as evident from his vocal words of encouragement from the stands during last month’s Europa League game away to Fehervar, and his determined efforts to console his team-mates after the devastation of the subsequent penalty shootout defeat.

Talbot embraces McGuinness after Europe League penalty shootout heartache - Sportsfile

Now, though, Talbot wants to keep hold of his starting berth. Competition for places across the team is fierce, and it is no different between the sticks.

McGuinness was not part of the squad away to Sligo last week as a precaution because he was a close contact of a Covid case. In his absence, Talbot saw Bohs keep a clean sheet for the first time in three games and he hopes to build on that now once more.

His reinstatement coincided with Bohs returning to winning ways too as Andre Wright’s second-half goal, after skilful work from Dawson Devoy, banished the disappointment of defeats to Waterford and Shamrock Rovers in their previous two games.

Talbot said: “I want to kick on from last year, so I was glad to get a chance to impress and keep a clean sheet.

“We were disappointed with the previous two games, not just the results but the performances too. But we were a lot better against Sligo. We felt we could have been 2-0 up at half-time but thankfully we got the goal in the end. Dawson was unbelievable for the goal.”

Now attention turns to the visit of Declan Devine’s Derry City to Dalymount Park, with Talbot hoping he has done enough to retain his place in the team.

He added: “We are looking forward to it. Everyone is buzzing in training, but we are very focused and we want to go out, give a good performance and win the game.”

For manager Keith Long, the game presents another fresh challenge.

He said: “Derry are unbeaten in their last five games and have added to their squad since they beat us in March. Games between the teams have been very close over the last couple of seasons.

“With six league games remaining, it is vital we try to continue to pick up points and build on a positive result in Sligo last week.

“I was very pleased with how we played in Sligo. They were in good form prior to the game and we were coming off the back of two disappointing results, so it was really positive to see the lads put in such an assured performance.”

Talbot was just one of four changes to the team for the trip to the Showgrounds, with Rob Cornwall, Conor Levingston and Devoy making the starting XI in place of James Finnerty, JJ Lunney and Danny Mandroiu respectively.

Long added: “All players are desperate to play football and in a condensed season it is even more frustrating for them when they do not.

“The squad ethos is very important for any successful team. The changes made to the starting XI in Sligo underlines that and I was very happy with the boys who came into the team and performed well.”

TEAM NEWS

Kris Twardek, suspended due to accumulated yellow cards, is Bohs’ only absentee.

Sligo Rovers v Bohemians - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

“Last week we fell short of what we expect from ourselves”

Preview: Sligo Rovers v Bohemians
SSE Airtricity League
September 18 2020, The Showgrounds, 7.45pm

Keith Long has challenged Bohemians to return to the level of consistency that saw them surge up the table when the season resumed at the start of August.

Four wins from four last month saw the Gypsies move up to second in the table, something few would have predicted at the start of the season.

But it has been a different story in September so far as Bohs lost the Dublin derby away to Shamrock Rovers a fortnight ago before succumbing to a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Waterford last week.

Long said: “We want to reach a consistent performance level week on week. Last week we fell short of what we expect from ourselves.”

Goals from Danny Mandroiu and Kris Twardek gave Bohemians all three points when these sides met at Dalymount Park in February.

But Long knows it will be more difficult this time around against Liam Buckley’s side, who are unbeaten in five league games now.

He added: “We will need to be better than we did last week against an inform Sligo.

“We want to put in a positive display and bounce back from the disappointment of last week.”

TEAM NEWS

Everyone trained this week, including Rob Cornwall (ankle).

Bohemians v Sligo Rovers - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

BOHEMIANS 0 WATERFORD 2

In what turned out to be his last game, John Sheridan’s Waterford FC hit two first half goals, to inflict Bohs second defeat in a disappointing week, as The Gypsies failed to close the gap on leaders Shamrock Rovers at the top of the table.

Despite the outcome, the hosts came flying out of the traps and had two good chances within the first 90 seconds. Andre Wright could have done better with a header from an Andy Lyons floated cross, and the reinstated Danny Mandroiu flashed a shot inches wide of Brian Murphys far post.

Waterford, struggling to get a foot hold in the game, might have conceded a penalty with the lively Danny Grant turning brilliantly inside Oluwatunmise Sobowate, who looked to bundle the winger to the floor. Much like the incident a week previous, the referee waved away the claims much to the bemusement of the Bohs bench.

READ MORE

But, as is often the case at this level, if you don’t punish your opposition when you’re on top, you are susceptible to being punished. And that’s exactly what happened with 24 minutes played. Alistair Coote’s speculative drive took a wicked deflection off Dan Casey and slipped through the arms of Stephen McGuinness. They Gypsies did have a warning just prior to the opener, as Tyreke Wilson had a powerful effort well parried away.

John Martin was next to have a go from distance and smashed the cross bar as Bohs struggled to regain their composure and regain the upper hand. Disaster struck right on the stroke of halftime, the visitors doubled their lead when left back, Wilson curled in a beautiful free kick from slightly right of the area. And as a half that started so brightly for the home side, ended miserably, and now faced an uphill battle in the second half

As expected Bohs dominated possession after the break but struggled to break down a resolute Waterford rearguard. It took until just after the hour mark for Bohs to muster a meaningful effort, with player of the month, Grant cheating the ball down and quickly hit left footed volley from the edge of the area, But unfortunately was straight down the throat of Murphy.

The visitors continued to carry a threat though, and while looking comfortable without the ball, had chances to add to their tally. Wilson hit the foot of the post with another excellent free kick from a similar position to his goal and Martin had a back post header hit the post and bounce away from goal.

With the game slowly drifting away, boss Keith Long looked to freshen things with the introduction of Promise Omochere and Keith Ward. The new faces brought about immediate impact forcing a spate of corners, one of which brought a goal mouth scramble that was brilliantly defended by Murphy and co.

Dan Casey had a late header just miss the near post, but unfortunately for Keith Long and his troops just couldn’t force the breakthrough against a stubborn and very organised Waterford defence.

Next up for The Gypsies is a tough away trip to in-form Sligo Rovers, with a massive three points on offer in the race for European football next season.

Bohemian FC: Stephen McGuinness, Andy Lyons, James Finnerty, Dan Casey, Anto Breslin, Keith Buckley, JJ Lunney (50’ Conor Levingston), Daniel Mandroiu (77’ Keith Ward), Kris Twardek, Danny Grant (77’ Promise Omochere), Andre Wright (70’ Glen McCauley)

Subs: James Talbot, Ciaran Kelly, Conor Levingston, Dawson Devoy, Keith Ward, Promise Omochere, Glen McCauley

Waterford FC: Brian Murphy, Jake Davidson, Tyreke Wilson, Robert Weir, Alistair Coote, Michael O’Connor (69’ Dean Walsh), Matthew Smith, John Martin (82’ Niall O’Keefe), Robbie McCourt, Kurtis Byrne, Oluwatunmise Sobowate

Subs: Tadhg Ryan, Dean Walsh, Darragh Power, Alex Phelan, William Fitzgerald, Paul Martin, Niall O’Keefe

50335653592_a4c49f2d00_c

“There is plenty of football left to be played”

Preview: Bohemians v Waterford
SSE Airtricity League
September 11 2020, Dalymount Park 5.45pm

Keith Long has challenged Bohemians to dust themselves down and bounce back after last week’s Dublin derby defeat.

The 1-0 loss in Tallaght saw Shamrock Rovers move five points clear of second-placed Bohs.

Long said: “There is plenty of football left to be played. We must focus on every game one at a time.

“Tonight is an opportunity for us to bounce back and we hope we can reach the level of performance required to win.”

But Long was frustrated that Bohs’ lack of cutting edge, combined with some appalling refereeing decisions, contributed to a missed opportunity in Tallaght.

He said: “We conceded an early goal which allowed them to control the tempo of the game to an extent and we were unable to impose our game plan.

“We didn’t play well, especially in the first half. We did have moments and half chances but that’s all they were. I feel we had a really strong case for a penalty when James Finnerty was manhandled in the box from a corner but overall we never had a sustained period of pressure or stress tested them enough.

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“The second period was better from us. We had longer periods of possession and created some opportunities.

“Again, we had a clear-cut penalty denied by the referee and if that’s given we could have come away with a point from the game without playing well.

“We need to be better than a bad refereeing performance, however, and Saturday was a missed opportunity for us.”

They will look to put that right when Waterford are the visitors to Dalymount Park this evening.

Long said: “Waterford will be full of confidence after a convincing win last Friday at home to St Pat’s.

“They have some exciting players and have proved difficult opponents for us since their return to the Premier Division.

“We expect nothing different from them this evening and as always we will have to be at our very best in order to get a result and to bounce back from last week’s defeat.”

TEAM NEWS

Rob Cornwall (ankle) is expected to be sidelined for two to three weeks.

Bohemians v St Patrick's Athletic - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division
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