PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v FINN HARPS

Bohemians v Longford Town - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

SSE Airtricity League
Saturday May 8 2021
Dalymount Park, 6pm
Live on WatchLOI.ie

Keith Long believes Bohemians are better than the points they have accumulated to date suggest – and has challenged his side to use the pain of disappointing results to drive them forward and up the table once more.

Leading 1-0 in injury-time away to Drogheda on Bank Holiday Monday thanks to a wonderful team goal finished by Liam Burt, Bohs looked like they were about to get back to winning ways.

But they inexplicably handed a share of the spoils to the home side who punished bad defending with a suckerpunch from James Clarke following a corner right in the third minute of stoppage time.

Long said: “The first phase of games has seen a disappointing return for us. We would have hoped and expected more points on the board than we currently have at this juncture.

“I firmly believe we are better than the points accumulated but our league position does not lie and we will need significant improvement to move up the table.

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“Recent performances at home to Derry and away to Drogheda sum up our season to date. We have looked good in spells but a lack of incisiveness, and basic errors at critical times have cost us with the concession of late goals in both games.

“This has been a trend in many of the games over the first round and we need to improve our output in the last third of the pitch and eliminate the basic errors.

“I believe in our boys, I believe we are better than what we have shown so far this season. We are not making excuses and are not looking for excuses.

“We need to improve and only by remaining together we will do so. I understand supporters’ frustrations and trust me, we all very much share those. However we must stay together and only by doing so we can overcome this period.

“We have made great strides in recent years both on and off the pitch. Progress is never linear and sometimes you have to take a step back in order to move forwards. Now more than ever we need our supporters to get behind this team.

“I know they can’t be with us in Dalymount and we hate not having them in the Jodi. I know also that they would not accept some of our displays.

“But I can absolutely tell you we are doing everything we can to improve results, improve performances and we will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of becoming a better team. We feel pain but are not broken, and we need to use that pain to drive us forward.”

This evening Bohs welcome Finn Harps to Dalymount Park.

Ollie Horgan’s side have proved difficult opponents in recent seasons and have won the two most recent meetings between the sides.

Long said: “We start the second phase of games like we did the first against an extremely organised Finn Harps team that have many good players in their ranks with real threats around the pitch in every position.

“Games against Harps are always challenging and they will test you in every facet of the game. They work extremely hard, are well organised and play to a system that really suits the attributes of the team. They will come to Dalymount with confidence and we will need to be absolutely on our game to get a result.”

TEAM NEWS

Bastien Héry is available for selection once more. Stephen Mallon (metatarsal) is continuing with his recovery but is still a number of weeks off.

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