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SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division
Friday May 12 2023, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm

Declan Devine says his side must take last week’s Dublin Derby setback on the chin when they host his hometown club Derry City at Dalymount Park.

Controversial decisions, including an offside goal and the denial of a stonewall penalty, contributed to Bohemians’ 2-0 defeat to Shamrock Rovers last week.

But despite the frustration of that result, Devine saw plenty in his side’s performance to inspire confidence going into another tough game.

Devine said: “The decisions were just ludicrous but we have to move on. We’ve got to get back on the horse this week.

“The boys were trained brilliantly. We know we’re playing a real top side again and we’re gonna have to go up the gears again.

“That’s the reality of this league. You have to get over setbacks and you have to get over any wins quickly as well.

“We’ve been able to respond after defeats we’ve had this season very positively and it’s something we’ll have to do again on Friday.

“That’s something that we’ve done all year. We have gone to difficult venues and we have dealt with tough opponents in Dalymount, so there will be no difference in our mentality setting up trying to win against Derry City.“

In Ruaidhrí Higgins’ Candystripes, Bohs, still top of the table despite last week’s setback, face a side with designs on a league title.

A Dean Williams penalty gave Bohs all three points when the sides met on Foyleside last month, but Devine knows his players will have to pull out all the stops to repeat that outcome.

Devine said: “Derry have invested really well in their squad. When you have a team that has the likes of Michael Duffy, you know you’re going to have tough opponents. We have to be ready for that.

“Derry will fancy their chances pushing for a league title. We’re just looking to try and make sure that our level of performance will give us an opportunity of taking three points and that’s what we want to do, no matter who we play, and where we play them, we want to take the points.“

Devine admitted his players were both gutted and frustrated by the manner of last week’s defeat, but believes they can channel that disappointment into delivering against his former club.

He said: “It was a long weekend. The result was hard to take because of our performance. The performance did not warrant a 2-0 defeat. The first goal is 100% offside, whether you slow down, whether you don’t, he is standing on the line.

“As I said at the time, the penalty has got to be given. We have to accept that decisions that will go for us and that decisions will go against us. But that doesn’t make going there and losing in the manner that we did any easier to take.

“But it was great to get the lads in training during the week because you know what, our performance was positive, and we said that to them.

“Now we are going to have to make sure that we give the same level of performance, and even more, against Derry because it’s another top side coming to Dalymount and we have to be ready for that.

“There were huge positives, I think with the exception of the first 15 minutes, we were the dominant side for long periods. We were the team that controlled the tempo of the game.

“They got the offside goal, which knocked us for a few moments, but we again came back and we were very positive in our approach, dominating the ball in such a high profile game.

“That’s something that players have to take huge confidence from because over recent years, we might have had it set up just to contain and frustrate but our performances shows so far this group of players have come in terms of their belief in each other, their ability to dominate possession of the ball and to create opportunities.

“And we did have opportunities. Declan has a chance at the back post, Johnny has a chance that is saved on the one v one. And then obviously not giving the penalty was a huge turning point in the game.

“Even if we had been awarded the penalty and scored, I think we would have still gone after them trying to win the game. That is the kind of energy we need against Derry City.”


Ali Coote, who has seen training and game-time since returning from a thigh injury curtailed due to a bug, has played a full part in training this week.

James Akintunde (hamstring) remains out, while Jordan Flores and Jay Benn are doubts.

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