Cork City face Bunagee United from Donegal in the Evoke.ie FAI Cup on Sunday with a quarter final place up for grabs. Bunagee Utd are an intermediate side and claimed their position in the Senior Cup by virtue of a strong run to the Semi-Final place in the Intermediate Cup. It means Cork City FC Women’s manager Danny Murphy faces the unusual situation of his City players being favourites with all the expectation on us. Murphy is keen to stress that he won’t allow complacency in a game where the match preparation has been as keen as any Women National League fixture.
“That’ll be the message that we give the girls, let’s do our jobs properly, can we build on what we did last week? Defensively I thought we were very strong, we worked really hard, we did all the right things that we’d worked on in training, now it’s a case of can we be a bit more productive in the final third. We have to go into the game with the right approach and the right mentality and I think we’ll be fine if we do that. I feel comfortable that our ability will shine through if we approach the game professionally, but we know that the cup sees upsets all the time and we don’t want to be one of those.”
Building on a strong Athlone performance is a focus for Murphy, who was delighted with how his team did, despite being without some regular starters for the trip to Lissywoollen last weekend. “I’m really proud of the players in how they did, they’ve had to take on a huge amount of information in recent weeks about how we want to set up and the things we want to do. We went there with a game plan and the players were great. It’s easy for a coach to want to put things in place, but the players put that into practice. Athlone was a brilliant learning experience because now we know we can challenge the players, work on small details and they’ll rise to that.”
“Even though we had a few players out, some players stepped in and they’ve grabbed that opportunity to show what they can do and they’re putting a stamp on it that it’s their place to keep. If we can build that mentality, get a real competition for places, it makes a massive difference for us.”
Delighted with the defensive display in Athlone, Murphy is looking to the other end for Sunday’s game. “I think we did play well, in the final third we need to be a bit more productive, be willing to get more bodies forward. We had a lot of possession and a lot of really good hold up play in the final third. We rushed things a little bit, but I’ve said to the players that’s on me, because I’ve encouraged them to be aggressive, to win the ball back quickly. But now we need to work on that little bit of composure and time when the ball is won back.”