Cork City get their European campaign underway on Thursday evening, as they welcome Luxembourg’s FC Progrès Niederkorn to Turner’s Cross.
The Rebel Army enter the competition at the First Qualifying Round, thanks to last season’s second-place league finish, while the visitors had to overcome Welsh side Cardiff Metropolitan University before earning a trip to Leeside.
City come into the game off the back of an encouraging 0-0 draw with Bohemians last Friday night, a game that marked the return of Mark O’Sullivan to Cork City, as well as the debut of new signing Joel Coustrain.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference in Turner’s Cross on Monday night, City head coach John Cotter looked ahead to the game: “The performance last Friday was good, training has been very good from there, everyone is bursting to get going on Thursday and hopefully put in a good performance in front of our supporters.”
“Sometimes in these European games, the tempo can be a bit slower than League of Ireland games, but we still need to play at a good tempo for ourselves. That’s when we’re at our best. Will there be times where you’re going to be sitting in your shape? More than likely, I would say, yes. We know where we’re good, and how we’re good, and we need to be on the front foot. We’re playing at home, so the onus is on us to do that, and we’ll be trying to do that from the off on Thursday.”
Colm Horgan also took part in the press conference, and he is relishing the opportunity to make his first career appearance in Europe, having been injured throughout last year’s campaign: “It’s my first opportunity to actually play in Europe, and I’m really looking forward to it. It should be a great experience. I expect it to be a lot more technical. From what I’ve heard, it seems to be a case of teams feeling each other out for the first 20 minutes, almost like a boxing match – finding your range. After that, it kind of gets into gear, but you never know, every game is different.”
“Every game when you’re sitting up there (in the stand) is difficult to watch when you’re not available. Definitely, the Rosenberg game and the Legia one, would’ve been great to be available for.”
Cotter also had a message for City supporters, reminding them how important it his for them to get behind the team on Thursday:
“The support here last Friday night was unbelievable. We’re going to need every bit of that and more on Thursday. The players respond to it, and we respond to it as staff. As I’ve said before, the supporters should never underestimate the role that they play, how much it has an impact on the players, and how much more it gets out of them. The supporters have been phenomenal, and we’re all looking forward to that.”
On the injury front, City are likely to have to plan without the services of Cian Murphy, Cian Bargary, Pierce Phillips and Kevin O’Connor, while Shane Griffin is also a doubt as he makes his way back from the shoulder injury suffered against St. Pat’s in May.
Read Thursday’s match programme, City Edition online for only €2: Click here.
Referee: Aleksandrs Anufrijevs (LVA)
Injury News: Cian Murphy, Cian Bargary, Pierce Phillips, Kevin O’Connor, Shane Griffin
Last game: Cork City 0-0 Bohemians
Last meeting: n/a
League Form (League, most recent game first): D D L D D
We will have live online coverage of the game.
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