“WE NEED TO START THE WAY WE FINISHED LAST FRIDAY”

OwenHeary

LIMERICK v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League, Thomond Park, Friday 4 July, 7.45pm

Bohemians go to Limerick aiming to repeat their cup win there just four weeks ago. But manager Owen Heary recognises that the recent meeting between the two sides may do Bohemians’ opponents as much of a favour as it does to his team, writes BRIAN TRENCH.

“They know more about us, just as we know more about them. We hadn’t beaten Limerick since they came back to the Premier Division. It does give the lads confidence, knowing we can go down there and beat them on their own patch.”

Both teams come to this rematch hoping to better last week’s results and Heary expects that Limerick will be “an improved team”, while Bohemians “need to start the way we finished last Friday”.

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Heary’s team came back last week from two goals down to secure a draw against Athlone Town, putting victory within their grasp.

“We only really came alive in the last 40 minutes of the game. We seemed to be in holiday mode before that,” said Heary. “When Kevin [Devaney] came on, it changed the game. From him making that run and getting that goal, it lifted everyone’s intensity.”

Dinny Corcoran left the field distraught having missed a late penalty. But Heary points to Corcoran’s earlier equaliser from play and his two penalties converted two weeks earlier against Bray.

“I have no problem with Dinny stepping up to take another penalty. The Athlone goal-keeper made a good save, but it was a killer that we couldn’t take the chance to win the game. The pleasing thing is that we showed the character and bottle to come back from two-nil down.”

With the opening of the transfer window, Heary has another option in attack, as Adam Evans, most recently with Inverness Caledonian, comes into the reckoning.

But the manager’s preference is to see Evans improve his match fitness and ease him into competitive appearances with a start in one or both of the forthcoming friendlies (v Dundee United, 12 July; v Wolverhampton Wanderers, 16 July).

Derek Pender returns from quad injury for the Limerick game but captain Dave Mulcahy (hamstring) remains out. Aidan Price (ankle) faces a late fitness test.

Stephen Traynor has left the squad as he prepares to return to university for a Masters programme.

“Stephen has been brilliant for the club in his four years here. He was devastated at having to go but he has to think of his career ahead,” said Heary.

“He has worked hard and when he’s got a chance he has taken it well. We’re sorry to see him go but we wish him the best of luck.”

Five players* have left the squad in recent weeks for various reasons. All were on amateur terms, meaning that Heary has very few resources to add to the squad. However, he expects to conclude a deal with an experienced goal-keeper by the end of this week.

He will use this month’s friendlies to give a taste of senior team action to some under-19 players, including a few of the recent recruits from Crumlin United.

Heary is looking to one of these, 17-year-old Stephen Best, a centre-half, to step up quickly. He has been training with the senior team and “hasn’t looked at all out of place”.

*Philly McCabe, Andy Mulligan, Lee Murphy, Darragh Reynor, Stephen Traynor.

Pic by Eddie Lennon – eddielennonsportingimages.com

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