Preview: Waterford v Bohemians

Dundalk v Bohemians - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

WATERFORD v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League
Friday April 16 2021, live on WatchLOI.ie
Please note earlier kick-off time of 5.45pm

First-half goals from Ali Coote and Tyreke Wilson were the difference between the sides the last time Bohemians met Waterford.

Bohs were curing their luck on that occasion back in September but would be delighted with a similar outcome this evening.

When Waterford came to Dalymount in John Sheridan’s last game in charge, Coote and Wilson lined out for the Blues and their suckerpunches in an otherwise even game left Bohs kicking themselves.

This time around though they will be lining out in the red and black of Bohemians when they travel to familiar surroundings of the RSC.

The duo were among nine new signings snapped up by manager Keith Long in the closed season.

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But Scottish midfielder Coote, 22, says he will have little inside knowledge facing his former club, such has been the high turnover of personnel there under new manager and former Ireland international Kevin Sheedy, including the addition of former Bohs man Oscar Brennan as club captain.

He admitted: “I have no idea what to expect from Waterford! There has been a huge turnover of players. There are only a few left from when I was there last season.

“I enjoyed my time there, we did well last season. The RSC is a good place to play football with a good pitch. We are just looking forward to going down there and hopefully building on our performance last week against Dundalk.”

That performance in Oriel Park saw Bohs claim their first win of the season after a tricky opening to the season, which saw them pick up just one point from their first three games.

It was a hugely improved performance and deserved victory. Bohs created plenty of chances, but it was Georgie Kelly’s first-half penalty that was the difference between the sides.

Coote said: “We just clicked on the night – everyone was at it. We deserved the result. We knew going up there that they were a good side. They have been one of the best sides in the country for a number of years.

“But the gaffer told us to put in a performance we could be proud of and I definitely think we did that. If anything I thought we could have gone and scored more.

“We passed it about more, and that suits me personally as I get to show my qualities. The challenge now is to build on that performance and to try to get a run going.”

That victory marked 21-year-old Wilson’s debut in a Bohs shirt as he was chosen ahead of Anto Breslin, who had started the three previous games.

Breslin was an ever-reliable last season, so left-back is one of a number of positions where there will be healthy competition.

Wilson, who was on the books of Manchester City before joining Waterford, said: “I’ve had to be patient. The gaffer has been good to me though.

“There have been a lot of new players so it was always going to take a little while to get used to each other but we showed what we are capable of against Dundalk.

“It’s all about building momentum. We can take a lot of confidence as a team and hopefully we can go on a run.

“We are training well together too so hopefully we can bring that into the next few games.”

Wilson had Bohs fans cursing him when he stepped up and fired home a stunning free-kick that sealed that victory for the Blues back in September.

If a similar opportunity arises this evening, will he be putting his hand up again?

“Yeah, definitely! I fancy myself with free-kicks – I always practice myself after training. It’s something I have in my locker so if the opportunity presents itself yeah I’ll definitely be trying to take it and to score,” he added.

TEAM NEWS

Stephen Mallon (metatarsal) remains out.

Andy Lyons, who came off with a hamstring injury against Dundalk, and Bastien Héry (ankle) will not be risked.

But Promise Omochere (knee) and Conor Levingston (calf) come back into contention.

Long explained: “Andy came off with a tight hamstring last week so we won’t risk him for this game, especially as we have two games next week.

“Unfortunately Bastien went over on his ankle late in a training game so he is unavailable for us this evening.

“The good news is we have Levo and Promise back. Promise is looking really sharp and both of those will be with the squad this evening.”

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