Thursday 21 November 2019

Long: Bohs must buck up

Keith Long. Pic: Sportsfile
Keith Long. Pic: Sportsfile

Keith Long admits that his young Bohemians side have to match the standards set by league champions Dundalk if they are to progress.

The Gypsies suffered back to back defeats with Friday's 2-0 loss at home to Dundalk, coming after a defeat to Cork City.

Bohs are still in the top three in the league table but they are finding things tough right now, having failed to score in three of the last four games. Long disputed some of the refereeing decisions in the loss to Dundalk but he accepted that his side were second best. Bohs need a lift for Friday's trip to play St Patrick's Athletic. "Dundalk deserved to win, they were the better side," says Long. "The game was scrappy and the referee was poor but we were deservedly beaten.

"I can't fault the players in terms of their effort or application, in the second half they ran themselves into the ground.

"But Dundalk are a good side and we need to learn the lessons from Friday, and from the previous week against Cork. That is the benchmark, I said to the players afterwards that their fitness levels, their conditioning, their strength, their power, their movement, their pace: they can hurt teams, any team, and we need to get to that level," added Long.

Bohs sustained some injuries in the loss to Dundalk, Danny Grant, Derek Pender and Conor Levingston picking up knocks as they join Rob Cornwall on the injured list, and Long now needs to assess his squad before a testing double header, away to St Pat's on Friday and away to Dundalk, again, on Monday.

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