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Fenlon insists Bohs won't be burdened by favourites' tag

PAT FENLON believes that his Bohemians players can deal with the rare experience of being favourites in a European tie as they face Welsh outfit TNS at Dalymount Park tonight.

The bookmakers expect Bohs to win the first leg at Dalymount, and given the record in Europe of TNS -- the Welsh side have lost 17 of their last 18 games in Europe -- they are understandably the underdogs against a Bohs side which has performed well in Europe recently with four wins from their past eight UEFA matches.

But Fenlon has done his scouting work on the Welsh champions and has already warned fans not to expect a repeat of their last encounter with opposition from Wales, when Bohs won at a canter, 9-3, against Rhyl.

"There is pressure but we can cope, I know my players," Fenlon told the Herald.

"I won't overload the players with talk of how important the game is. They know themselves what's at stake and they know they are expected to win. It's the same for every game at Dalymount Park, the crowd expects us to win at home every time. Some people think that when you're the league champions you have a divine right to win every game and that's not the case.

"We have enough experienced players in the squad to deal with that. I told any player who I was bringing to this club, if you want to come to a club like Bohemians you have to be able to deal with that situation. The fans here are demanding, we are a big club and we should be looking to progress, but the fans need to be patient with us in both legs.

"I know we have a big support coming to Wales with us for the second leg and they could play a big part over there if we need them on the night, but we can't get too panicky. It's another game and one that we want to win. We want to get through in Europe," added Fenlon, happy with his side's recent form.

"The good thing from our point of view is that in the last four or five games, you can see the confidence coming back into the players as some of them did have a dip in form. When you're on a run like that you want the matches to come thick and fast and that's where we are at the moment."

Bohs have to make some changes tonight as influential winger Gareth McGlynn starts a two-game ban in Europe, a result of a red card in Derry City's 1-1 draw at home to CSKA Sofia in the UEFA Cup last year. Fenlon could start utility man Mark Rossiter on the right side of midfield in place of McGlynn, or else move Killian Brennan from left to right wing, or even play Mark Quigley in that position.

Aaron Greene, Steven Gray and Anto Murphy all miss out through injury so youngsters Gary Burke and Lee Dixon could make the match-day squad.


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