Cork aiming to stick with winning formula in title showdown

City manager says league leaders will remain positive as they travel to face rivals Dundalk

Cork City manager John Caulfield. “We’ve been written off a few times but we’ve got out and won games since then and we’re not going to stop trying to do that now.” Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cork City manager John Caulfield. “We’ve been written off a few times but we’ve got out and won games since then and we’re not going to stop trying to do that now.” Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 
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Or how confident they were that it would be Cork City rather than Shamrock Rovers that would be still in the mix at this late stage?

John Caulfield has gently chastising the Dublin media for failing to count his side amongst the likely title contenders. But not too many of even his local admirers can have been entirely convinced that he could take a team that finished sixth and 25 points behind St Patrick’s Athletic a year ago to top spot with a game to play this time around.

Straight victories

Oriel Park

Much more recently Caulfield reckoned people were writing Cork off after that home defeat by Dundalk and the subsequent draws with Bray and Athlone. The collective character shown since had been tremendous, though and the manager insists his side will aim to have “a real cut off” Dundalk this evening.

“We’re in a great position and the mood in the squad is very positive,” he says.

“We’ve been written off a few times but we’ve got out and won games since then and we’re not going to stop trying to do that now.”

Stephen Kenny has no choice with Dundalk needing to win if they are not going to be remembered as a team that fluffed their title chance with last week’s draws against Shamrock Rovers and, more pointedly, Bray Wanderers.

The game could well produce a few goals as these two sides haven’t failed to score at least one between them in a game since way back in 1995.

The home side will again be without David McMillan while Simon Kelly is a doubt and Stephen O’Donnell presents Kenny with something of a dilemma by continuing to edge his way back towards full fitness.

City, meanwhile, will give late tests to Ross Gaynor (ankle) and Gearóid Morrissey (knee) and Caulfield described both of them yesterday as “touch and go”. Josh O’Shea, meanwhile, is expected to be available.

Own hands

UCD still have their fate in their own hands although if they were to lose this evening then a draw would do their rivals against a Bray side that are safe last week’s surprise result against Dundalk.

Shelbourne have a lot to do in the second leg of the First Division play-off after losing 2-0 in Galway last weekend.

Their cause hasn’t been helped by a training ground injury to Brian Gannon who should have been back from suspension but John Sullivan is available again.

Aaron McDonagh misses out and Richard Fahy returns for Tommy Dunne’s side who are again due to be watched at Tolka Park by their number one fan and our number one citizen, President Michael D Higgins. No title deciding distraction for him, it seems.

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