Saturday 25 November 2017

Gypsies hope to catch Saints in race for European slot

Bohemians boss Keith Long
Bohemians boss Keith Long

Keith Long has told his Bohemians players not to give up on the prospect of bringing European football to the club for next season.

The Gypsies, at home to Longford Town tonight, are seven points behind a fourth-placed St Patrick's Athletic, the Saints not in league action this weekend due to their involvement in tomorrow's EA Sports Cup final in Galway.

Fourth place in the league could be very important this season because, should the league's top two of Dundalk and Cork City made it to the FAI Cup final, a door to the Europa League would open up with a fourth-place finish in the league.

So, wins for the Gypsies from their next two games (Longford Town and Drogheda United) could tee up the Bohs-Pats game next month as a key fixture in the race for Europe, especially as the Saints are on a four-game losing run in the league.

But a ticket to Europe for Bohs would necessitate a winning run, something which has been beyond Keith Long's side this season as the Dalymount Park side have managed back to back league wins on just one occasion since April. It would also require Bohs to beat Pats in a league game, a feat that has eluded the Gypsies since 2010.

"It's a big ask to catch them but we have to win a game like tonight's to have a chance," said Long ahead of the clash with Longford. "There are six games left, and there is a bigger picture, but our goal is to get the maximum points from the remaining games. We'll do whatever it takes to achieve that but we'll also have one eye on what might take shape for next season."

Meanwhile, Vinny Faherty's form with a born-again Limerick FC side has won him August's player of the month award from the SSE Airtricity Soccer Writers Association of Ireland.

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