Cork City will be looking to bounce back from their first league defeat of the season, as they travel to face Drogheda United on Friday night.
Their unbeaten start to the season was finally ended on Monday night, as Bohemians recorded a 1-0 win at Turner’s Cross, while their last away league game resulted in a 2-0 win at the Carlisle Grounds against Bray Wanderers. The home side are in a poor run of form, with only one point from their last five games; their last home game was a 1-0 defeat against St. Patrick’s Athletic.
The sides have met twice this season, with City running out convincing winners on both occasions. They recorded a 4-1 win at United Park in the opening weeks of the season, before registering a 5-0 victory at Turner’s Cross in May.
Speaking to the media ahead of the game, John Caulfield said: “The players have been phenomenal all year and their attitude has been brilliant. The other night, fair play to Bohs, they came with a game plan and they beat us and, over the 90 minutes, we didn’t do enough. That’s gone now, it’s done and dusted and you have to move on to your next game. Friday night becomes the game of the season for us now, because there are another huge three points on offer.”
“We are going for the title and Drogheda are at the bottom, fighting to survive. They know a win will bring them back into the mix and I think that race will go all the way to the end. It’s a tight ground and always a tricky venue; Pete Mahon and John Gill are two great guys who always have hard-working teams.”
“With three going down this year, it is really competitive. You look at the table and you wonder are there four teams involved in the battle, are there six? It means every game is massive and it has made sure that there are no easy games this year. Every game, you have to earn the right to get the points and that is a great place to be. In the past, there have been seasons where one or two teams have been cut adrift early on, but that hasn’t happened this year and I think there are still a lot of twists and turns to come.”
“For us, we have to bounce back and go back to what we have been doing brilliantly all year. It is a crucial game for both teams and that is the way we are approaching it. We are two-thirds of the way through the league and we are in a strong position, so we have to keep driving on and keep our focus.”
Caulfield will definitely be without long-term injury victim Johnny Dunleavy, while Stephen Dooley, Ryan Delaney, Alan Bennett and Jimmy Keohane have all had knocks and have will be assessed closer to kick-off.
Injury News: Johnny Dunleavy, Stephen Dooley, Ryan Delaney, Alan Bennett and Jimmy Keohane
Last meeting: Cork City 5-0 Drogheda United
Last league game: Cork City 0-1 Bohemians
League Form (most recent game first): L W W W W W
Referee: Robert Hennessy.
We will have live online coverage of the game.
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