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Bohs and Dundalk are still threats: Grace

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Lee Grace. Photo: Sportsfile

Lee Grace. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Lee Grace. Photo: Sportsfile

Shamrock Rovers defender Lee Grace has laughed off suggestions that Dundalk are already out of the 2020 title race.

But ahead of Friday's derby at home to Shelbourne, he admits that Dublin rivals Bohemians are a real threat to their title hopes this season.

Rovers remain top of the table after eight games played, with just 10 matches left in the season, though they dropped points for the first time this term in Sunday's derby draw away to St Patrick's Athletic.

Dundalk's slump in form - the champions are without a win in three games - has put them eight points adrift of the leaders and some Dundalk figures have even stated that their league race is already run.

But Grace discounts that.

"They arere going to say that aren't they? They'll try to suck us in," Grace says.

"But there is a long way to go and anything can happen. There are not too many points in it. We'll just concentrate game by game, week by week and we cannot afford to get carried away. If you go on a bad run of games, straight away they are back in it. Hopefully we keep the ball rolling."

With Dundalk struggling for league form heading into tomorrow's Champions League tie in Hungary, Bohs have emerged as the most likely challengers, for now at least.

"Bohs are not going away either because they are putting in performances every week and getting results," Grace said.

"Even going to Finn Harps on Saturday, a tough place to go, and they got a result.

"They are not going away either and we know that.

Concentrate

"We just have to concentrate on ourselves, tick off the games week by week and see where we are at the end."

Meanwhile, Rovers boss Stephen Bradley says he won't be lured into a false sense of security by the poor form of Finnish side Ilves Tampere before their Europa League battle next week.

Tampere, who visit Tallaght Stadium on Thursday week, have managed just one win in the last four games, but Bradley has been doing his homework and remains wary.

"They're a typical Scandinavian team - really clever defensively, good going forward, they pick up, really cover spaces and it's going to be a really difficult game," he said. "I know the last few weeks in the league they haven't been doing too well but from watching them last Saturday and the week before it's going to be a good game."