‘We have to eliminate defensive blunders’ - warns Kenny Shiels

Kenny Shiels wasn't happy with his side's defensive display in the 4-2 loss to Cork City at Turner's Cross on Monday night.
Kenny Shiels wasn't happy with his side's defensive display in the 4-2 loss to Cork City at Turner's Cross on Monday night.

KENNY SHIELS has called on his players to eliminate the silly defensive blunders which have cost his side of late as they bid to return to winning ways at Dalymount Park on Friday night. (K.O. 7.45 p.m.)

The north Dublin venue has been a happy hunting ground for the City boss during his tenure and the Candy Stripes are going for 10 straight wins over Keith Long’s troops in all competitions.

However, after shipping 19 goals in their last five fixtures Shiels has been working on repairing the ‘weak part of our game’ during training sessions this week at Brandywell.

And despite his side’s dominance over Bohs in recent seasons, he knows his side must step up their performance if they’re to extend their winning run over the Gypsies.

“We’ve worked this week on trying to repair the weak part of our game we need to sort out. We’ve taken enough from the game against Cork to give us confidence to proceed,” stated Shiels.

“We’ve got good positivity from our performance (at Turner’s Cross). We lost the game which isn’t good enough but we’ve nullified one of the problems and that was the possession we have against Sligo was poor.

“There was too many unforced errors and I think we cured that considerably. We had good possession down at Cork but didn’t eliminate the mistakes and we’ve been working on that a lot.”

While Shiels is hoping to strengthen his defensive resolve at Dalymount, he may be forced to plan without experienced centre half, Gavin Peers.

However, Conor McDermott, who was an unused substitute against Cork last Monday afternoon, is expected to return to the starting line-up.

“We’re playing against one of the best squads in the league and you have to commend them on how they’ve recruited.

We want to win matches. We’re a wee bit flat so we’ve got to lift ourselves.”

Meanwhile, Keith Long has told Bohemians they need to be at the top of their game when Derry City arrive in town.

Early-season form has deserted the Candy Stripes of late with one win in their last eight league games but given Bohs’ record against Derry in recent seasons, they cannot afford to take them lightly.

“They’ve done well against us but that doesn’t come into it, it’s all about tomorrow night’s game,” he said.

“We know we have to be at our very best against a good team with good players. We have to play to our maximum in order for us to win the game.

“They are fourth in the table for a reason and will come to Dalymount confident despite their recent run.”

Bohs come into this game on the back of a 1-1 draw in Limerick last week.