THERE WILL BE no hiding place for Bohemians keeper Andy McNulty when he takes on the very tough task of lining out in goal for Bohs at Tallaght Stadium tonight - he's surrounded by Hoops wherever he goes.
Rovers away is always a daunting fixture for Bohs, but even more so ahead of tonight's game at Tallaght (7.05pm, live on RTé 2).
A price of 10/1 for a Bohs win looks about right, as the Gypsies have not managed a win in Tallaght since the place opened for business in 2009. Bohs have not managed to score a single goal in their last six games, while Rovers have to go back 18 games -- to last July -- for the last occasion when they failed to score in a league game. No pressure, then, on Bohs keeper McNulty, who only made his league debut for the Gypsies in last Sunday's 0-0 draw with St Patrick's Athletic.
"I know I'm in for a tough time tonight but I'm ready for anything that's thrown at me," says McNulty ahead of the Tallaght clash, the first time in decades when a Bohs-Rovers clash has been a case of top (Rovers) against bottom (Bohs). "There is pressure but if you can't enjoy a Bohs-Rovers game you shouldn't be in football.
"It will be my first Bohs-Rovers derby but I know all about the game and what it means.
"I come from a predominantly Rovers area, Sandyford. A lot of my mates are Rovers fans and I live right across the road from the stadium in Tallaght. I don't even need to drive there for the game tonight, I can just walk across to the ground.
"It's going to be a hostile environment in Tallaght but I'm looking forward to it as our confidence is high after getting the point against Pats last week, and if we can get a result it might shut up some of my mates who are Rovers fans who have been texting me in the last while about this game.
"I love the fact that there's so much pressure on you as a keeper. You can go from hero to zero in the space of a minute but that's what I love about the position. I was delighted to get my debut last week against Pats. The main thing was that we got a point and ended that run of defeats.
"Even when we were losing games, I thought we were doing okay, we weren't getting bashed by teams -- Derry and Sligo only beat us by one goal and we deserved something from the games," added McNulty.
The Bohs keeper is a late recruit to League of Ireland football. He won a trial and contract offer from SPL side Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the start of his career and spent two seasons there but with little joy in terms of first-team experience, bar a spell with Third Division strugglers Elgin City.
"I was full-time over there and I learned a lot, it was a great experience," he says. "Unfortunately they got relegated in my second year there and Terry Butcher let a few players go, including me. I had a lot of injuries as well, I only got 10 or 12 reserve games for Inverness and then made about 12 appearances for Elgin.
"I came back and played for Bluebell United and had a great time with them, we won a few cups. But in January this year I got the call from Aaron to come to Bohs and while it was a wrench to leave Bluebell, as I had a lot of mates there, the chance to play for Bohs was something I couldn't turn down."