Cork City begin the defence of the FAI Cup title they won last year with a tricky tie away to Bray Wanderers on Saturday.
City come into the game on the back of a late defeat (in extra time) to Shamrock Rovers in the EA Sports Cup, their previous tie was a 1-0 league win away to Drogheda United last Friday. The home side come into the game having drawn 0-0 away to Bohemians on Friday night, as they ended a run of four consecutive defeats.
The sides have met twice in the league this season, with City winning both. The first was a 2-1 win at Turner’s Cross in April, and the most recent meeting took place at the Carlisle Grounds less than a month ago, with City running out 2-0 winners.
Speaking at his weekly press conference ahead of the game, John Caulfield said: “It has been a tough week because we were in Drogheda Friday night and get back at three in the morning after a tough game and then another tough game against Shamrock Rovers on Monday night and back late again. We are back on the road again now and Bray will be difficult opponents; in a once-off it is always tight.”
“We won the cup last year and we want to get another run going this year. We were disappointed to lose on Monday, but what do you do? You bounce back! At the start of the year, our aims were the league title, to do well in Europe and the FAI Cup. You are coming into the part of the season where you want to be, challenging for honours. We are in a good position in the league and, while we have a difficult tie in the cup, we want to see if we can get a run in it.”
“Harry (Kenny) has done incredibly well at Bray. They are probably looking at us now thinking it is a real opportunity to get a cup run. They have kept all of their key players and they are back focused after a difficult few weeks, so I am sure they will be looking forward to the game.”
“There is a bit of magic about the cup. We know that from being in the Aviva last year and the year before. It is a one-off, there is always a buzz about it and we know how good Bray are, so we will need a top performance. We are all looking forward to it because obviously we would love to retain the cup.”
Conor McCormack returns from suspension, while Kieran Sadlier is also back having been cup tied for the Shamrock Rovers game but Caulfield will definitely be without long-term injury victim Johnny Dunleavy and Alan Bennett who is suspended. Other than that, there are a couple of knocks, but Caulfield is hopeful that everyone else will be available.
Injury News: Johnny Dunleavy
Suspensions: Alan Bennett.
Last meeting: Bray Wanderers 0-2 Cork City
Last game (EA Sports Cup): Shamrock Rovers 1-0 Cork City
League Form (most recent game first): W L W W W W W
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