Tuesday 12 December 2017

We have to make it count if Hoops slip up -- Shelley

IT'S THE end of the season and, more than likely, the end of an era at Dalymount Park tonight.

The curtain closes on a 2010 season which has been pock-marked by disappointments for Bohemians, but it could also be the end of the most successful period in their history.

There is a strong likelihood that the cash-strapped club will abandon their 11-year status as a full-time operation and revert to being part-timers -- if not amateurs -- next season, even though there's still a slight chance that the Gypsies could be league champions for the third year running when business closes around 9.30 tonight.

But Bohs defender Brian Shelley has challenged his team-mates to see out the season on a high, whether or not that's good enough for Pat Fenlon's side to retain the league title.

"We have fallen short this season as a team, we know that, but tonight we have one last chance to show what we are really about and we need the whole team on-form to prove our worth by winning this game," Shelley said ahead of Dundalk's visit.

"We have won a trophy already this season with the Setanta Cup.


"If things go our way we could have the league on top of that to make it a double and that would be a great finish to the season.

"All we can aim for tonight is to beat Dundalk, we can't play a part in anything else that happens. The other games will look after themselves so we have to do our own business. That means beating Dundalk.

"I don't think we have done enough as a team this season. If we had done our jobs we would be on top of the league now or we'd even have won the title already.

"But that didn't happen. We conceded way too many goals, we failed to take our chances in lots of games -- especially away to Galway last week -- and that has cost us.

"It's been a difficult season for everyone at the club -- the players, the staff, the supporters -- but the 11 players who will start the game tonight have one last chance to try and make things right.


"We have to just go out and beat Dundalk and see what else happens," added Shelley, who believes that an upset is unlikely tonight. If the Hoops are held, Bohs must win by at least five goals to be champions.

"I can see Bray drawing at home to Rovers as Bray are a very good side and have caused lots of teams problems this season," he said.

"But I just can't see them beating Rovers, there is too much at stake for Rovers for that to happen.

"I'm sure we will know from the crowd's reaction at our own game what's happening elsewhere.

"The Bohs fans will be going crazy if Bray get a goal and will be very quiet if Rovers are leading. We have to finish the job and beat Dundalk so we can make it count if Rovers do happen to slip up," he added.

Bohs are forced into changes here as Mark Quigley and Chris O'Connor are suspended.

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