Drogheda United v Bohemians - SSE Airtricity Men's Premier Division

SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division
Friday April 28 2023, UCD Bowl, 7.45pm

Declan Devine says Bohemians need to bring the right attitude and intensity to Belfield tomorrow if they want to beat UCD.

It is top against bottom at the UCD Bowl but Devine says his side cannot afford to underestimate any team in this league.

Devine said: “We had a very difficult game against them when we played them at home. I expect nothing different.

“We will take a big crowd there and I ask our fans to come out and really get behind the team and generate the kind of atmosphere we had in Drogheda, the Brandywell and Sligo.

“I ask every fan to help us because it can be a difficult venue – UCD always go on a run, every year, and we have got to make sure we go there with the right attitude and intensity.

“If we can get our fans to push us on, it will be a massive help for us.”


His side come into this game on the back of a 2-0 win away to Drogheda United last week, which extended their lead at the top of the table to five points.

Bohs started that game at full pelt, and their pressure paid off when Paddy Kirk claimed his second goal of the season on 17 minutes.

Drogheda came out all guns blazing in the second half, however, and piled bodies forward in search of an equaliser.

Bohs stood firm though, and Declan McDaid swooped to put the game beyond doubt in injury-time.

Devine said: “I think for half an hour of the game we were fantastic – the opening period where we moved the ball really well.

“If you look back at Paddy’s goal, it was a fantastic team goal. We worked it in from one side, switched play, a really good effort from the edge of the box and then Paddy does magnificently well to score.

“One of the things said about us last season was that we were a bit soft in our defending but we showed great improvement in that regard against Drogheda.

“The players showed great willingness to defend on the back of disappointing goals conceded against St Pat’s the week previously, so I have nothing but praise for them.

“Every three points in this league are difficult to get and when you play so well for the opening 20 minutes and move the ball so well, and then Drogheda, who are a good side, come after you, I am pleased that we stood firm against that.

“There are going to be games where mistakes happen – any team in this league is capable of scoring against anyone. We just have to make sure we are as defensively solid as we can be and do our jobs for every second of the game.

“There are going to be ups and downs. The biggest compliment I can give our players is that they have always responded after a low.

“We took our defeat against St Pat’s on the chin and went up to a very difficult venue, won and kept a clean sheet.”


Devine was particularly delighted that father-to-be McDaid soaked in the atmosphere when he sealed all three points in the fourth minute of injury-time.

He said: “Declan has had great news – his partner is going to have a baby soon.

“You see from the enjoyment on his face in Drogheda, when he grabbed the ball and ran to the crowd, that this is an important time in his life.

“To have that emotion and that feeling when he got the goal, to be able to run to that magnificent support, I am just delighted for him.

“We asked for that relationship between players and supporters, and I feel the players are giving supporters something to cheer about.

“The supporters have really bought into the desire and work ethic of the team. Long may that continue.”


Devine was also pleased that the opening goal came once again from one of his defenders.

He said: “If you look through the group, defence have chipped in with five goals, midfield have chipped in with six goals, and our attackers have chipped in with six goals.

“There’s a massive spread. Whenever teams set up against us, they try to block off certain avenues of our attacking play, but we have shown that we have others across the team who can chip in, which is really pleasing.

“I still feel we can add more to our game but I would bite your hand off for that return.”

He joked that the only position that has not chipped in with a goal so far is his goalkeeper.

But that could have changed when James Talbot misheard instructions from the dugout and raced up to the opposition’s box when Bohs, trailing St Pat’s 3-2 a fortnight ago, won a free-kick in injury time a fortnight ago.

Devine added: “I told him to go up and take the kick but he misheard me and I look around and he’s running past defenders in their 18-yard box. I thought, ‘Jesus Christ! There’s about six minutes left’.”


Ali Coote (thigh) returned to training this week and will be assessed before the game.

James Akintune (hamstring) and Jay Benn (calf) are out, while Jordan Flores is suspended.

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