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Preview | Kelly Hoping That The Lack Of Atmosphere Hurts Bohs

First Team News
// 6 Aug 2020

Former Bohemians winger Daniel Kelly is hoping that the lack of atmosphere at Dalymount Park will work to Dundalk’s advantage when the Lilywhites head to Phibsborough on Friday evening.

Public health restrictions mean that there will be no supporters in the ground to cheer Keith Long’s side on and after witnessing it first-hand in Dundalk’s 1-1 draw with St Patrick’s Athletic last Friday, Kelly knows only too well how detrimental it can be to a team on their own patch.

“Playing at home in this league is huge, especially at Oriel Park because the fans really get behind you when you need to kick on,” he told dundalkfc.com.

“Bohs are reliant on their fans as well and Dalymount is nearly always full so the fact their fans aren’t going to be there tomorrow might suit us a little bit better.”

Daniel Kelly and JJ Lunney (left) congratulate Darragh Leahy – now also of Dundalk – after his goal for Bohemians against Galway United in 2018. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Kelly has fond memories of Dalymount. The 24-year-old spent six months at the club in the latter half of the 2018 season, scoring five goals in just 10 league appearances for the club.

After resuming the season with a 1-0 win away to Cork City last Sunday, the Gypsies start the game just one point behind Dundalk in the table and ‘Dicky’ knows that the reigning champions will be put to the test on Friday evening.

“Bohs have a big squad with young, quality players. Keith Long and Trevor Croly do everything right up there. It’s a great club to be, especially when you’re a young player and they’ll be right at it on Friday night so we’ll need to be ready.”

Kelly knows that a win is imperative if Dundalk are to get their title bid back on track. Last weekend’s results have left the Lilywhites five points behind Shamrock Rovers with just 12 games to play and the winger knows that snookers will be needed elsewhere.

Sean Hoare takes a throw for Dundalk in front of a packed Jodi Stand at Dalymount Park in 2018. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

“The draw with St Pat’s last week wasn’t the worst result in the world and in a 36-game season people would be saying it was a good result but that’s how tough it is now,” he said.

“It was a slip-up and we can’t afford to be drawing or losing anymore. If we win every game we might still not win the league but all we can do at the minute is focus on ourselves and hope a couple of results go our way.

“If you win a couple of games the table could easily turn upside down so that’s what we need to do, starting on Friday night.”

The Ringsend native came off the bench last Friday but with Patrick McEleney set to miss the 5.45 pm kick-off with an injury, Kelly is hoping to be involved right from the start against his old employers.

Daniel Kelly takes on Paddy Kirk of Bohemians during a friendly between the clubs at Oriel Park last month. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

“I didn’t get much of the ball against Pat’s when I came on. There wasn’t much flow to it and it wasn’t a great game to try and influence. Hopefully, I get the nod at Dalymount. It’s in great nick at the moment and it will suit us up there.”

TEAM NEWS

Patrick McEleney will miss the trip to Phibsborough after picking up a groin strain in the 1-1 draw with St Patrick’s Athletic last Friday. Brian Gartland is back in contention after playing 90 minutes in a friendly against Linfield on Saturday. Sean Murray, Sean Hoare, and Darragh Leahy resumed training this week but are unlikely to be involved.

COVERAGE

The game will be streamed live on WATCHLOI at 5.45 pm and will also be broadcast live on LMFM, Dundalk FC’s official media partner. Visit www.lmfm.ie for more details.