Bohemians will be looking to bounce back from two consecutive defeats when they host Waterford in the Premier Division this evening at Dalymount Park (kick-off is at 7.45pm).
Lying in third position on 49 points, the Gypsies know that Europa League qualification is in their own hands – despite their recent struggles.
Speaking ahead of the visit of Waterford to the home of Irish football, Bohs keeper James Talbot insists that his teammates must start games quicker if they are to reach their goal of European qualification.
“It was disappointing to lose a derby but there were positives to take from the second half. We hit the post, we had balls cleared off the line, so it was disappointing not to get something from it.
“We need to start games better than we did against Rovers. We need to trust ourselves to play with the belief from the start.”
The former Sunderland youngster added; “Waterford have talented players and we will show them respect. We have to be right from the start and we need the crowd behind us.
“Every game for us between now and the end of the season is a cup final. I’ll take three points any way you get them.
“Obviously getting that winner down there in injury-time was a great moment but injury-time winners aren’t great for the heart!”
In terms of team news for Keith Long’s charges, Daniel Mandroiu is ruled out with injury as is Keith Buckley and Keith Ward.
Conor Levingston is a major doubt for the hosts while long-term absentees Dinny Corcoran and Cristian Magerusan remain out.
Waterford will be looking to build on a positive recent run of form when they make the unenviable trip to Dalymount Park to face Bohemians.
After a 2-1 win at Turners Cross, with goals from Maxim Kouogun and Walter Figueira, the Blues have since earned a draw against Derry City – turning performances into points for the Munster side.
Waterford’s last victory over Bohemians came at the tail end of last season with a deserved 3-1 win at Dalymount Park over a depleted home side.
“I was disappointed [to go out of the cup]. You can’t give away soft goals like we did against a team as good as Dundalk; they’re outstanding,” Reynolds told his club’s media team.
“If you give them space and time, they’ll punish you, but I thought we were better in the second half.
“We’ve started to come into a bit of form in the league in recent games. We’ve put in some good performances and we were rewarded with points against Cork and Derry.
“There’s been very little between us and Bohs in the games so far this season, we drew both home and away and they snatched an injury time winner the last time in the RSC, so we’re going for the win.
“I know Keith and Trevor well and they’re pushing hard for that 3rd spot. Keith was down watching us on Monday so no doubt they’ll be well prepared too; so, it’s up to us to put the performance in.”
Waterford will be boosted by the return of Zach Elbouzedi from international duty, but they do in fact have a number of injury concerns.
John Kavanagh, Dean Walsh and Karolis Chvedukas are all ruled out, while Kenny Browne and Cory Galvin are also rated as major doubts.
Referee: Neil Doyle.
The Blues have picked up four points from a possible six on offer during their past two league outings with a win and draw over Cork City and Derry City respectively.
Bohs won the last meeting between the pair of sides, with a late two-one win over Waterford at the RSC in June – with Michael Barker’s 93rd minute strike enough to seal all three points.
Alan Reynolds’ side were knocked out of the FAI Cup last time out after a three-one defeat at the hands of Dundalk.
Bohemians 8/13; Draw 13/5; Waterford 7/2.
Bohemians 2 - 0 Waterford
Injured: Daniel Mandroiu, Keith Buckley, Keith Ward, Dinny Corcoran, Cristian Magerusan.
Doubtful: Conor Levingston.
Injured: John Kavanagh, Dean Walsh, Karolis Chvedukas.
Doubtful: Kenny Browne, Cory Galvin.
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