ITS NOT an easy thing to do in these difficult times, but Pat Fenlon says he's trying to keep his mind on his on-field duties as Bohemians manager and not get distracted by off-field events in the financial and transfer markets.
Despite their placing in the league table -- only five points off the lead with a game in hand -- morale around Dalymount Park is very low, battered this week by last Sunday's 3-0 loss to Shamrock Rovers. Defeats in a derby are hard to take, but it's the off-field matters which are of most concern for the club's members, who attended a meeting in Dublin last night as the board scratch their heads and wonder how they will come up with the cash -- an estimated €400,000 -- to help Bohs just see out the season, never mind long-term security.
Fundraising drives will garner little as supporters, demoralised after heavy defeats to TNS and Rovers in recent weeks, are reticent about handing over more cash. And the economic climate means that very few fans have cash to spare for a club which, only four years ago, was sitting pretty on a property deal worth €60m but now, according to reports from the dressing room, are unable to guarantee the players their wages for this month and the board have no idea how they'll pay the wages of their contracted players over the close season, with part-time football next season almost certain.
The sale of playersseems to be the only way out and Paddy Madden, Aaron Greene and Killian Brennan are all being looked at closely, with Championship sides Millwall and Hull City the latest to express an interest while Preston are very eager to sign Greene.
Bohs are expected to sell before the UK transfer window closes, with Greene (Preston) and Madden (Celtic/Derby) most likely to leave.
"I don't want to lose anyone from the squad, but we need finance into the club and sadly the only way we can do that is either by winning things or selling players," says Fenlon.
"In terms of selling players, I don't know if we will still have this squad at the end of the month when the window closes in England. If an offer comes in and it's right for the player and the club we will look at it. The club does need money now but everything has to be balanced up for it all to be right. I am trying not to let it get in the way of our matches.
"I know the supporters had their meeting last night but that's not something I can get involved in. All I can do is work hard at my job and that means winning matches," Fenlon added, dismissing rumours that he had quit his job in frustration at the club's position.
"My own situation hasn't changed. I love managing this club and will continue doing it. The club is going through a rough patch at the moment but, unless the club have something different to tell me, I am happy to plod along.
"It's difficult for everyone at the club now: players, staff and supporters, and we need to pull together. It's when you're in difficulty that you need everyone pulling in the same direction. It's OK to be all happy when you're winning things but you need to stick together when times are hard, and they are hard for us now.
"We have won a trophy already this season in the Setanta Cup. We're third in the league with a game in hand but people here think it's the end of the world.
"People know there are problems but they are reading more into it than they should, so hopefully we can get everyone at the club pulling in the same direction," added Fenlon.
"We're still disappointed from the Rovers game on Sunday. I thought we played OK in the game. We gave up three silly goals, but in the overall play we possibly passed the ball better than Rovers and had a lot of possession, but didn't create enough chances. We didn't defend well and didn't take our chances. If you do that in football you won't win matches.
"But we move on. There is always an over-reaction when you lose to Rovers. We dropped three points last week but tonight we have a good chance to get back three points. If we can win this game tonight (Galway) and win in Bray on Tuesday we are right back in it.
"I know there was a lot of doom and gloom among the supporters this week, but that happens after a derby defeat. The players have bounced back from defeats before and I know they can do it again. We're employed to win matches and that's what we'll try and do tonight.
"One thing we need to learn is not to panic when we concede a goal as we have done that too much recently," added Fenlon, who knows that Galway have been a bogey side for Bohs this season.
"We seemed to play Galway at a time when they had everyone available so they were strong, but we have to deal with that. We're at home tonight and we have to go and win the game, simple as that, and we'll have to be on form to win the game."