This game is key for the teams around the top and bottom of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division as second placed Bohemians play host to bottom side Cork City today (kick-off 5.45pm).
Keith Long’s team come into this game on the back of three wins, with the most impressive of these being last Saturday’s win over Shelbourne at Tolka Park. They won the game 3-1 with Danny Grant scoring a hat-trick with Andre Wright also impressing for Bohs.
The gap between the Gypsies and league leaders Shamrock Rovers seems insurmountable as overturning their eight point lead would be miraculous with four games remaining – although Bohs play twice before the Hoops give a ball again.
A win tonight would mean that European football would be secured for the Phibsborough club again next season.
Keith Long speaking before the game acknowledged how tough he expects tonight’s game to be and what he expects from his team.
“Tonight’s game will be very difficult despite their league position,” said Long. “Cork are fighting for every point and are dangerous opponents so we are very aware of the threats they possess. What’s important for us is to continue to grow and to focus on improving.
“We have a very young squad which needs reminding from time to time. The players are hungry to improve, to learn and develop and they are essential ingredients as we try to finish the season strongly.”
Bohemians haven’t released team news but Cristian Magerusan remains on the long term injury list. Bohs also lost some of their players from their squad during the week with Kris Twarderk gone to ply his trade in Poland and Luke Wade-Slater signing for Larne. Ciaran Kelly is gone out on loan but remains under contract with the club.
Colin Healy will be in charge of City this evening as he brings his team to Dalymount Park after a tumultuous week for the Leesiders.
Healy who was in charge of the club’s academy takes over for the remainder of the season after the club parted ways with Neale Fenn by mutual consent during the week. The Leesiders have won only two league games all season and are two points behind second-from-bottom Finn Harps.
It was also announced that the club are considering a take-over bid by a company owned by the owner of Preston North End.
Despite the uncertainty swirling around the club, Healy spoke in positive terms about how he has got on with the players in the short time he has had since being appointed to the role with the club’s media team ahead of today’s game.
“The first day of training was good,” said Healy. “There was a great atmosphere. The players enjoyed it, the coaches enjoyed it and I enjoyed it. Everyone trained, which was great. It gives me a selection headache, which is always a good thing.”
Healy is expecting a tough game tonight but was also keen to talk up his own team.
“Dalymount is a tough place to go – I’ve been there as a player, I’ve been there as a coach, it’s always difficult. Bohs are a very good side, they’re very well set up – they’re compact, they’re organised and they’ve got very good players.
“It’s going to be a tough task, but then again, we’ve got some very good players here, so we’ll be ready for it.”
The Leesiders have no fresh injury concerns for today’s game but they will be without Cian Coleman who is suspended after picking up five yellow cards this season.
Referee: Sean Grant
The last league meeting between the teams was a 1-0 victory for Bohemians at Turner’s Cross with Andre Wright scoring the decisive goal.
Their four league meetings last season saw Cork City win twice, Bohemians once and the remaining fixture ending in a scoreless draw.
Bohemians 2/9; Draw 4/1; Cork City 10/1.
Bohemians 2- 0 Cork City
Injured: Cristian Magerusan (knee).
Suspended: Cian Coleman.