Bohs clash will focus Rovers' minds -- O'Neill
Published 30/05/2011 | 05:00
BEHIND the locked door of the away dressing-room at the Carlisle Grounds last Thursday, it can't have taken long for the name of tonight's opponents to pass from the lips of Michael O'Neill.
The balance of power may have shifted considerably in the Airtricity League over the past 12 months, but few things could focus Shamrock Rovers' minds after their shock defeat by Bray Wanderers like the visit of Bohemians to Tallaght Stadium.
O'Neill didn't conceal his frustration in the aftermath of a second 1-0 defeat to Bray this season, which brought the Hoops closer to the league's chasing pack -- with just three points separating the champions and the seventh placed Seagulls.
"It doesn't really matter who we play, to be honest. We have to show better attitude and application than we showed in Bray," he said. "We have to recognise that every team raises their game when they play us. We have to deal with that.
"The players didn't respond to that challenge against Bray. If you're looking for honesty and hard work from a team, you don't have to look much further than Bray and you didn't see enough of that from our players. It was a really poor performance and we got what we deserved."
The rivalry between Bohs and Rovers has not been diluted despite the recent turmoil at Dalymount Park, which resulted in most of last year's squad departing.
The Gypsies have yet to beat Rovers in Tallaght and they will go into tonight's match very much as the outsiders, yet victory would put them level with their bitter rivals at the top of what is shaping up to be the most open championship in years.