“We know and understand the players we have at our disposal. We trust and believe in them.”

Bohemians salute away support in Derry on Monday - Stephen Burke

BOHEMIANS v CORK CITY

Friday May 3 2019, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm

Match sponsor: RWL Security Solutions Matchball sponsors: K&L Upholstery

Keith Long believes in-form Bohemians need guard against wounded animal Cork City tonight.

The Gypsies continued their excellent start to the season with a confident 2-0 win against Derry City on Monday.

And tonight they welcome a Cork City side in a transition following the departure of their league and cup-winning manager John Caulfield. His assistant John Cotter has taken the reins for now.

Cork are one of only two sides to have beaten Bohs this season but Long’s side have every reason to be confident going into tonight’s game.

Long’s decision to rotate his squad for last Friday’s 0-0 draw with Waterford came under scrutiny. The win in the Brandywell three days later seemed to vindicate the decision.

But he insists it wasn’t about vindication – the decision to make changes was done out of necessity to guard tired bodies against injury and further fatigue.

Long said: “We’ve had a good week. A great win up in Derry on a Monday.

“We started well but dipped a little bit. Derry came into it but didn’t really look like scoring, James Talbot wasn’t really troubled.

“In the second half, the boys shared responsibility and we went out and delivered.

“We scored a really good first goal, had a shout for a penalty, hit the post, hit the crossbar and we get the second goal.

“We were good value for the win. Our freshness showed in the second half against a team that were visibly tiring.

“Waterford last Friday, we made a lot of changes, which we had to do playing Tuesday-Friday-Monday to keep the freshness in the team.

“Last Tuesday’s win in Tallaght was great for everyone. But the volume of games has been really, really high in the last month or so.

“We’ve had to manage the squad and rotate the squad. I don’t look on the result as vindication. That comes from our performances.

“We made changes previously up in Dundalk and they were so good and were very unlucky not to come away with something.

“We went again with a changed line-up against Waterford after the game in Tallaght, which left lads fresh for Monday.

“We know and understand the players we have at our disposal. We trust and believe in them.”

They will need that belief once more when the Leesiders come to Dalymount tonight.

Long said: “They have been in the top two the last number of years and will be very difficult opponents.

“We won’t be complacent. The fact we’ve come out of this period relatively injury-free and amassing the points tally that we have, I think we can regard it as a job done – for now.

“But we are not getting carried away. We want to maintain that. This is a big game for us, they have good players and with a change in manager, will be looking to prove themselves. We have to guard against that.

“We’re four points off the top with a game in hand. It’s a good position to be in. It’s a long time since we found ourselves in this position. We want to sustain it.”

Please note the Jodi Stand is sold out. Bohs fans are not permitted in the Des Kelly Stand for this fixture.

TEAM NEWS

Rob Cornwall (Achilles) is ruled out. Aaron Barry cannot play under the terms of his loan agreement.

Keith Ward (foot) is a doubt.

James Finnerty did not travel to Derry on Monday due to a virus but will be okay to start.

FURTHER READING/LISTENING

David Sneyd has an excellent article on the42.ie today about Bohs’ resurgence under Keith Long. Link.  

Similarly, Des Curran has spoken to club captain Derek Pender for the RTÉ webiste. Link. Full audio.

Keith Long also gave a 20-minute interview with FAI TV. Link. 

Website by Simon Alcock