Sean: 'It's time we beat Bohs'
Shamrock Rovers star Sean Kavanagh says it's time for his side to prove their class and end their poor run against deadly rivals Bohemians.
Keith Long's side head for Tallaght Stadium tonight boosted by their recent record against Rovers in the fixture, Bohs with three wins and a draw against Rovers last term.
Not that an extra edge is needed but the fixture is now a key part of the title race, as Bohs were (before yesterday) in second place and one of the sides best-placed to make Rovers work, at least, for the title this season.
The Hoops host Bohs on the back of an eight-game winning run, the ideal form to take into a derby, according to the versatile Kavanagh.
"I think the form we're in can turn it for us in the Bohs fixture and we can beat them this season, we have won eight in a row and that's the form you want going into a big derby," he says.
"We can't complain, eight wins in a row and a couple of big games to come.
"The clean sheets are vital, we spoke about that before the Derry game, to get back to keeping clean sheets, we know that if we can keep a clean sheet, with the chances we create and with Jack Byrne in the form that he is in, we will win the game.
"We know it's a big week for us, it started well up in Derry on Friday, we'll look to win again tonight and then again on Friday against Dundalk. But all the focus is all on tonight.
"The atmosphere is always great, the games didn't go our way last season but we are looking forward to tonight, the atmosphere will be special and that can lift us," added Kavanagh.
He admits that those losses to their northside rivals last season did cause them pain.
"It hurts more to lose to your rivals as you know how much it means to your supporters, when we lose the Bohs we're not happy, the fans are not happy, so we do realise that we need to win," he said.
"We always feel we owe them one but we'll approach it as just another game. They will bring a good crowd, we have our fans behind us," added the ex-Fulham man.
Despite their good recent record against Rovers, Bohs boss Keith Long feels his side are the outsiders.
"Both teams have done very well so far this season.There is expectation at both clubs, but we are still underdogs," Long said
"Rovers are rightly being tipped for the league title. That is to be expected given their level of investment in their squad and the quality of player they've brought in.
"We've had a good start to the season ourselves though, built on a mean defence.
"Hopefully our lads can get off to a good start and we'll see where that takes us. We're looking forward to it."
SHAMROCK RVS v BOHEMIANS (Live on Eir Sport, 8pm)