“Our fans’ vocal support, passion and patience will be vital for us”

Derry City v Bohemians - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

BOHEMIAN FC v SHELBOURNE FC
SSE Airtricity League
Friday March 6, Dalymount Park, 8pm

Keith Long says Bohemians need to show courage and determination in tonight’s Dublin derby against Shelbourne.

Tonight’s opposition have started well following their promotion from the First Division under the guidance of Ian Morris, once a protege of Long.

In their three games thus far, they have won two and lost one ahead of tonight’s first league meeting between Bohs and Shels in seven years, claiming all three points away to Cork City and most recently at home to St Pat’s.

Shels came close to pulling off a shock result against Long’s men in the FAI Cup last season, leading 2-0 with nine minutes remaining before a Danny Mandroiu masterclass inspired Bohs to a memorable 3-2 victory.

Revenge will be on their mind when the sides kick off at 8pm this evening.

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Long said: “Our opposition will not make it easy for us. We should embrace this because it makes us better. We need to fight every day and in every game and for every second.

“If we have the right mindset of courage and a willingness to learn, we can achieve great things.

“Our fans’ vocal support, passion and patience will be vital for us and I look forward to them helping us on this journey as they have done.”

Bohs come into the game with two wins and two defeats from their opening four games.

Last time out at Dalymount 10 days ago, they ran out 2-0 winners against Sligo Rovers.

Long said: “We came out of the traps and scored an early goal. This came about as a result of our willingness to run forward and force errors from our opponents.

“We played with good tempo in the opening period but we could not get a second goal.

“In the second half, again we had chances primarily through Glen McCauley and on another day he could have had a couple of goals.

“Instead, we had to wait until the final minute of the 90 to secure the points through Kris Twardek’s first goal for the club.”

But the positivity from that result came unstuck with a disappointing result and performance at the Brandywell four days later where Derry City claimed a 2-0 victory.

Long added: “Our last game was a disappointing one. We did not play to our potential and while there was very little between the teams, we didn’t do enough to stress the opposition as much as we would have liked and didn’t work their goalkeeper enough throughout the game.

“We lacked the understanding and quality needed to break a team like Derry down.

“We did have some chances, JJ Lunney had an effort narrowly wide in the first half and we felt Keith Ward’s effort – at a time in the game when we were starting to exert pressure on the opposition – was over the line.

“The referee, Derek Tomney, who was in a great position thought otherwise and we have to respect his decision.

“Our vantage point at the side wasn’t ideal but a large portion of the defender’s leg was over the line when he cleared the ball, suggesting that the ball did in fact cross the line.

“If we had got ahead, it’s a different game for us but we lacked cohesion and the understanding to break our opponents down afterwards.

“We are developing a way to play but along the way, there will be setbacks like that.

“You will see misplaced passes, you will see mistakes but these are all part of the process and are essential in getting us to where we want to be, which takes courage and it takes hard work.”

TEAM NEWS

Dinny Corcoran (groin) and James Talbot (ankle) are out, while James Finnerty (calf) remains doubtful.

Cristian Magerusan (cruciate) is out for the season.

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