Browne and Waterford upbeat as champions come to town
Cork’s visit to the RSC the acid test for Reynolds’ high-flying newly-promoted side
Kenny Browne in action against Dundalk. “We don’t fear anybody. We think that we’re playing well and that we can beat anybody on our day.” Photograph: Ciaran Culligan/Inpho
Kenny Browne sees no reason why Waterford’s trajectory can’t maintain its upward spiral.
Newly-promoted after a decade in the doldrums of the First Division, manager Alan Reynolds’ side have enjoyed a storming start to the season that has them riding high in third place in the Premier Division table, just a point behind tonight’s visitors Cork City.
Victory over the champions at what should be a packed RSC – where they’ve won all four games to date this season – would see Waterford go top of the table, should Dundalk fail to beat Shamrock Rovers at Oriel Park.
“It’s a big occasion for us,” said central defender Browne. “If we win we can go top of the table and that’s the way we’re looking at it.”
Beating the current leaders and Munster rivals Cork to do so would greatly sweeten the achievement.
“We’ve played them already so we know what they’re about,” said Browne of a 2-0 defeat at Turner’s Cross in February. They’re a top side and they, along with Dundalk, are probably the best teams in the country.
“But we don’t fear anybody. We think that we’re playing well and that we can beat anybody on our day. I think we’re a different team now to the one that lost to Cork earlier in the season.”
And given their home advantage, Cork manager John Caulfield is expecting Waterford to play a more attacking game tonight.
“It will be a cracking atmosphere and a real battle,” said Caulfield, whose only injury absentee is John Dunleavy. “I would imagine it’ll be a more open game. As the home team I think they will come out.”
Though defender Rory Feely and winger Dean O’Halloran are back fit, Waterford wait on midfielder Gavan Holohan, who retired injured during last week’s win at Limerick. John Kavanagh, on loan from Cork, is ineligible.
Unbeaten and yet to concede a goal in the league, second-placed Dundalk host Shamrock Rovers in tonight’s other big game.
Goalkeeper Gary Rogers misses out with a calf tear for Stephen Kenny’s Louth side who are also without defender Brian Gartland (tonsillitis) and midfielder Karolis Chvedukas (ankle). Sean Hoare and Ronan Murray are back fit.
“They haven’t conceded a goal and obviously we can change that,” said Rovers’ manager, Stephen Bradley. “We just have to play to our levels. If we do that we’re good enough to create chances against any team in the league.”
Defender Joey O’Brien and striker Sean Boyd remain out injured for Rovers who welcome defender Ally Gilchrist back from suspension.
Tonight’s fixtures (7.45 unless stated)
Bohemians v Limerick
Dundalk v Shamrock Rovers (Live on RTE2, 7.30)
St Patrick’s Athletic v Bray Wanderers
Waterford v Cork City
Drogheda United v UCD
Finn Harps v Galway United (8.0)
Shelbourne v Athlone Town
Wexford v Cobh Ramblers (8.0)