Dundalk's Robbie Benson and Dan Casey of Bohs in action at Oriel Park. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Bohemians manager Keith Long has backed Dundalk to regain the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup title when they meet Cork City at the Aviva Stadium on the first Sunday in November.
Long has watched his side face the League of Ireland’s ‘top two’ in successive weeks recently, securing a goalless draw with Cork before winning at Oriel Park on Friday night.
And having faced the two, Long reckons Dundalk’s attacking prowess could prove decisive to the outcome.
“I’m in a position having watched Cork and Dundalk in the last two games and it’s very tight. The games between them over the last few years have been very tight, but if I was to call it, you’d say that Dundalk probably have more weapons from an attacking point-of-view at this moment in time,” Long told the Dundalk Democrat after his side’s win over The Lilywhites.
“It’s difficult to assess them (Dundalk) on tonight’s performance because the conditions weren’t particularly helpful for them. They were missing some key players also.
“Cork will probably be liberated by the fact that they have won the league well before going into the cup final, but coming into tonight’s match Dundalk were on an exceptional run themselves. They’ll have some key players back like (Patrick) McEleney and (Michael) Duffy who were missing tonight.
“Cork are a resolute team and like I said, winning the league will liberate them a little bit and they can go to the Aviva knowing that they beat Dundalk in the final last year.
“It should be another enthralling game, it should be a good spectacle for the supporters that turn up because it’s our blue-ribbon event and we want the game to be attractive if we possibly can, though, I’m sure the two managers wouldn’t necessarily see it that way because they want to win.
“It’s very close to call, but if you’re asking me I’d put Dundalk as slight favourites going into it,” he added.