herald

Wednesday 23 August 2017

No fear for unexpected leaders Bohs

Pender confident ahead of Dundalk tie

Adam Evans
Adam Evans

THEIR loyalty tested by relegation battles and midtable mediocrity, Bohemians fans are enjoying their unexpected status as league leaders after their best start to a season in five years.

And even though they now face a stiff test after a relatively soft run of games, Gypsies captain Derek Pender - whose side have won all three league games this term without conceding a goal and are ahead of Dundalk on goal difference - says there's no sense of fear in the Dalymount Park camp as they prepare to face the champions tomorrow night.

"Taking on the champions when they are on form, that's as big a test as you can get in this league but we are well able for it," defender Pender told The Herald, Bohs making it three wins from three with a 1-0 victory away to Bray Wanderers on Saturday.

"We have good momentum behind us and are playing well. Dundalk tomorrow will ask real questions of us as they are the benchmark in the league, they are the team that everyone wants to beat and we're looking to get another scalp tomorrow night.

"There's no pressure on us as Dundalk are champions and are favourites to win the league again, so we will take the game to them and enjoy the occasion.

"At the start of the season we looked at the fixtures and the first three games were against teams who were in our group, teams you'd expect to be in the second half of the table. We aimed to get maximum points and to do that, with three clean sheets, is great.

"Now it's going to be tough, we have Dundalk tomorrow and Rovers on Friday, so we'll see how far we have really come by the end of the week.

"I don't think anyone has taken notice of us so far because of the teams we've played. But if we carry on the run and get good results against Dundalk and Rovers, people will have to take us seriously. We feel we can get something from the two games," added Pender, now in his fifth season with the club.

"This has been the best start since I have been here as over the last few years we struggled early on in the season, I just hope we can be more consistent this year and keep up the run.

"We are working hard and young lads like Adam Evans are thriving this season."

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