SSE Airtricity League, United Park, Friday 3 April, 7.45pm

Bohemian manager Keith Long is confident his team can find the “winning habit” again after a week in which they drew one game and lost one.

“Against Shamrock Rovers the players had to dig deep and showed a lot of character, they put in a gutsy, resolute performance to get a valuable point,” he said.

“Last week was tough on a part-time squad playing three games in six days, but we have fully recovered, prepared well this week and are fully focused on the game against Drogheda.”

Going away again this Friday to Drogheda Long expects “another tough game”. “All teams in the league are capable of taking points from each other and Drogheda will be no different on Friday, we know we will have to perform to our maximum to get anything from the game.”


Long will wait to see how his squad comes through Friday’s game in Drogheda before considering whether to make changes for the EA Sports Cup tie against Longford Town on Tuesday – three days before the two teams meet again in the league. “It’s not ideal that we have to play Longford Town twice, but that’s how the draw worked out,” he said.

Anto Murphy is available again, having missed the Shamrock Rovers game through suspension. 18-year-old Stephen Best came in for Murphy and won plaudits for his performance.

The ex-Crumlin United defender is one of the assets that Long will manage carefully. Best still has commitments to the under-19 side, now in the quarter-finals of the championship.

“Stephen is a player we have high hopes for. We have to manage his game-time for the benefit of Stephen and the team. He has a big-game mentality for someone so young and he has a good temperament. He fully justified his selection, making his full league debut against Shamrock Rovers,” the Bohemian manager said.

“If he continues to work hard, and keeps his feet on the ground, he can only improve as a player. But we are pleased with his progress to date.”

Dave Mulcahy (calf) and Dan Byrne (cruciate) remain sidelined through injury. But Mulcahy has returned to training and is already showing his influence on the players around him, according to Long.

Byrne is doing non-contact training, as he recovers from long-term injury. But he will not be rushed back, Long insists.

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