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Murray to stand tall' for Bohs

SEEING AS Shamrock Rovers have knocked in 16 goals in their last four games at Tallaght Stadium, the young players of Bohemians could be excused for having some anxiety as they face the Hoops in front of the live TV cameras tonight.

But teenage goalkeeper Greg Murray, who will be in the line of fire if No 1 Dean Delany is unable to recover from injury, says that the Gypsies will draw on the memories of their historic win in Tallaght last season and use the fixture to show what the current side are capable of.

A poor run of form – five defeats in eight games – has seen Bohs slide from the fringes of the European places down to the bottom four, but former Home Farm keeper Murray insists that this Bohs side is capable of a lot more.

"We are in the bottom four, but there's no way we are a bottom-four side. I think we have the ability to go a lot higher and even finish in the top four," Murray says ahead of the second Bohs-Rovers derby of the season, the first one having ended in a 0-0 draw at Dalymount Park.

"I know it's easy to say that and it's harder to prove it on the pitch, but we don't deserve to be down at the bottom and if we can just nick a couple of wins in the next games, especially Rovers tonight and St Pat's next week, we'd be back up the table."

Winning at Tallaght Stadium is something that had eluded Bohs for a long time, as even the Pat Fenlon-managed sides which were winning – or at least challenging for – league titles failed to land three points away to Rovers since the Hoops moved into Tallaght in 2009.

But last September, Bohs managed to get their first win over Rovers at the venue, Kevin Devaney scoring the only goal of a game which led directly to Rovers sacking Stephen Kenny as manager.

Murray was new to League of Ireland football then, as the Rovers game was only his second appearance for Bohs, so he has happy memories of the place.

"We knew going into that game that Bohs had never won in Tallaght, so to get the win there that night with a young team was amazing for us," says Murray.

"I'd only played the week before against Pat's, so it was a big deal for me to play away to Rovers in such a big game, but I think I did well and the team did well and that's an experience that can help us tomorrow.

"No one gave us a chance away to Rovers last season as we were on a bad run at the time, but we came up with a brilliant win. It's a bit like that tonight as well, results haven't been great for us.

 

PRESSURE

"But I see no reason why we can't go to Tallaght and win again, all the pressure is on Rovers, no one is expecting anything from us. It's a big game for Rovers as they really need some wins to get back into the league.

"So we won't feel under any pressure going out there, because we have won at Tallaght it's like any other stadium for us now," adds Murray.

The teenager could get a chance tonight as veteran keeper Delany suffered an injury late on in last week's defeat at home to Cork City, so boss Callaghan has to make a call on his keeper before kick-off. And that's just one poser for the Bohs boss, as the unavailability of Chris Lyons due to suspension robs him of Bohs' biggest attacking threat.

For Murray, it's been a frustrating season as Delany was installed as first choice by Callaghan and Murray had to bide his time. "It was frustrating to be on the bench for so long, I had hoped to play more games this season as I had a taste of it with the first team last season," he says.

"I am only young and I am learning from Dean Delany all the time, he has huge experience from being in England and playing in the league here for a long time, but hopefully the manager will give me a chance tonight."

Murray has seen pals of his from the schoolboy days with Home Farm get moves to England and that remains the aim for the keeper. "Ian Lawlor, who is at Manchester City, is a good mate of mine and while I am delighted to see him do well, I'd love to get to England," says Murray, who had trials with Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City and Portsmouth.

 

PROBLEMS

While Bohs have squad problems – Lyons and Roberto Lopes suspended – Rovers have worries as well, as ex-Bohs man Conor Powell may be needed tonight, after missing the last five games due to injury, as full-backs Pat Sullivan and Danny Ledwith are out.

"A few of the injuries we have are as a result of fatigue, but there is no effort in getting the players up for a game like this. There should be a good crowd and a good atmosphere on the night and hopefully we get a positive result to go with that," said Rovers boss Trevor Croly.

"Games between Rovers and Bohs are always big games. I'm sure all the fans are looking forward to the game and the players are too. The games are coming thick and fast and it seems like every fixture is a big one for us."


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