Keith Long warns against complacency as St Pat’s come to town

Keith Long as warned against complacency as Bohemians look to extend their unbeaten run to five games.

The Gypsies have amassed 10 points from a possible 12 having lost their opening two fixtures of the 2017 season.

That recent run of form has seen Long’s side move up to fourth, but he insisted: “Nobody is getting carried away.

“We’re six games into the season – the league table doesn’t come into consideration at this point.

“I’m more concerned about getting our next result not about what’s been and gone.”

Bohs’ latest victory was a scrappy 1-0 win away to Drogheda United last Saturday.

Long said: “We didn’t play particularly well, but we got the result.

“They lads dug it out and we will need that grit and determination to get results throughout the season.

“But our first-half performance wasn’t where we wanted it to be.

“We improved in the second half, created a few chances, but Shane Supple did very well to keep it at 0-0 early in the second half.”

The winner came from a swooping header from Dan Byrne after an excellently-placed free-kick from Lorcan Fitzgerald.

For Byrne, a lifetime fan, it was a special moment as he ran the full length of the pitch to celebrate with his son.

Long said “Dan’s been great. He’s in great shape, both mentally and physically.

“I believe he will continue to improve as a player as the season progresses.

“It’s early days but there is great potential in the partnership at the back between him and Rob Cornwall.

“I’ve been delighted with Rob also. He’s come into the club and gone about his business in a quiet and professional manner.”

The victory also saw 16-year-old Steven Nolan make his first-team debut for the club, albeit for the last few moments of injury-time.

Long said:  “As a club, we want and need players progressing through to the first team from the Under-17s and Under-19s.

“Steven done really well for our Under-17s last season and was promoted to Graham Lawlor’s Under-19s this year.

“He’s someone who looks like he can make the step up and he’s adapted to every challenge so far.”

Bohs host a St Pat’s side who brought their stumbling start to the season to an end with a Dublin derby victory last Saturday.

With just one point from their opening five games, Liam Buckley’s men got off the mark with a morale-boosting 2-1 win against Shamrock Rovers.

Long added: “Pat’s have some excellent players, results were going to come.

“But we have concentrate on ourselves. Our performance needs to be better than it was in Drogheda.

“We are at home, hopefully we can have another big crowd.

“The fans have given the players a big lift both at home and away so far this year and we hope that will continue.”

Image Credit: RTE

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