BOHEMIANS boss Pat Fenlon has told his players they need to rediscover their hunger ahead of Saturday's crucial Dublin derby against Shamrock Rovers.
The Gypsies are having a real battle in holding on to their league title, Friday's 3-1 loss to St Patrick's Athletic was their fourth defeat of the season and the club are now seven points behind leaders Dundalk -- though Bohs do have two games in hand.
Next weekend sees Bohs take on an in-form Rovers side who have lost just once in their past 12 league games, and Fenlon knows it's a stiff test for his side as the aim is to bounce back from the poor display against St Pats.
"We need to work harder, it's as simple as that, and that will be the case on Saturday, it's a big game for everyone involved," said Fenlon.
"When you lose matches it's disappointing for players and managers but it's more disappointing for the supporters, especially in a Dublin derby, so we know the importance of next Saturday. We dare not lose it, to be honest," added Fenlon.
Friday was the second time this season that Bohs have conceded three goals, and Fenlon admits that his side were beaten by a better and hungrier team.
"We started the game really well but after the incident we lost our discipline and our shape. In fairness to Pats they were hungrier than us, they worked harder than we did and that's the bottom line.
"There was very little between the two teams but they had more hunger to win the match, they were the better side and deserved to win," said Fenlon.
"We didn't defend well enough for the goals, the third goal was a good strike from Stuart Byrne. But for the first two we should have got a head to the ball. But the goals summed up the attitude between the two teams. They wanted to score them and we didn't want to defend them. And that was the overall picture of the game, Pats worked harder than we did. They chased every ball and made every challenge and they were very honest, and our players didn't match that.
"I don't say that too often about our players but we have to get a response. We had a lot of possession in the second half and had a couple of chances. Paddy Madden had two good efforts and Jason Byrne had one too, but Paddy's effort summed up our night, that it just wasn't meant to be," added the Bohs boss, who explained his decision to take off striker Mark Quigley.
The former Pats player was the focus of anger from the Richmond Park fans for a tackle on Pats midfielder Gareth Coughlan which left Coughlan with a double leg fracture and has ended his season. Quigley received a yellow card for the incident but within minutes Fenlon took him off and replaced him with Paddy Madden.
"Mark didn't want to come off but the crowd were a bit agitated at that stage, and rather than get them going even more, the decision was made to take Mark off," he said.