Sligo Rovers v Bohemians - SSE Airtricity Men's Premier Division

SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division
Friday April 7 2023, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Live on Virgin Media 2

Declan Devine takes charge of his first Dublin derby against Shamrock Rovers as Bohemians manager this evening and says there is more to come from his side.

With six wins from their opening seven games, Bohs sit on top of the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division table. Devine is not getting carried away, but is relishing tonight’s game.

He said: “We can’t wait. I have been fortunate to be in the game for a long time and these are the kind of games you want to be involved in.

“I’ve been involved with games against PSG, Gothenburg, Celtic and Rangers, but a Dublin derby, being involved with Bohemians and getting to know the club and its people over the past few months, is something I am really looking forward to and the players are looking forward to.

“It’s another game, nothing will be decided other than three points. But we want a performance that represents this football club and everyone involved in it.

“We have had a positive start, and it still galls me that we have lost one, albeit with 10 men. We need to continue to grow and improve, and the players can take huge belief from their performances so far, never mind results.

“If we continue that level of performance, work ethic and desire, along with the togetherness of the fans behind us, then there is no reason why we cannot continue to push on.

“Nothing surprises me with these players because I’ve seen it from day dot. I thought our recruitment was spot on. We brought in players with good experience, but also with a real technical ability.

“There were also very good players already here. You look at Jonathan Afolabi, look at Ali Coote. Ali, for me, has been the best player in the league over the course of the last six or seven weeks.

“We treat each game the same and we do our homework on opposition exactly the same.

“But we are not naive. This game is different. We have told the players and shown them clips of previous games so they know what to expect in terms of atmosphere and intensity.

“The players are well versed. They are used to playing in front of sell-out crowds at Dalymount, so that is a huge plus going into this game too.

“But I expect the game to be 100 miles an hour, for it to be intense, but that is how we want to approach every game.

“We know we are up against a tough opponent but that is fine, we have played other tough opponents already too. We just have to make sure we take care of our own mentality and our own tactics when we take to the pitch.”
Bohs come into tonight’s game after a hard-fought win away to Sligo Rovers last Saturday.

Devine added: “Sligo are a good side. Rovers and Pat’s have gone to Sligo and haven’t won. The pitch wasn’t great and didn’t allow us to play the way we wanted to play.

“But I thought we grew into the game really well. Our ability to defend and do the ugly bits well gave us a platform to go and win the game with a late goal.

“It is very pleasing that for such a new group, that they didn’t allow their heads to drop. We enjoyed the win. You have got to enjoy every win. But we are not getting carried away.

“I looked towards the end of the game at the fans, singing the Auld Triangle, and it was passionate. You want that passion, you need that passion.

“We want that togetherness and when our fans are enjoying it, we want to enjoy it with them, because there will be days when it’s tough so when the fans really get behind you like they did once again in Sligo, you want to recognise that. We all have a role to play in trying to achieve success.”


Keith Buckley (calf) and Jordan Flores (quad) are doubts.

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