Shamrock Rovers manager expects tough game in Cork
Cork City boss John Caulfield talks of ‘massive challenge’ for his players
Cork City’s Kevin O’Connor scores the winning goal against Sligo Rovers recently. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley respectfully suggested during the week that despite Cork’s remarkable start to the season, they are still not as good a side as Dundalk have been on their day over the past couple of seasons. But he expects the Dubliners to face a very tough time at Turner’s Cross on Friday evening despite their own recent improvement.
Dave Webster is fit for the game as is Ryan Connolly, while Roberto Lopes will have a fitness test in the morning, but Paul Corry is out once again, and Bradley has said the midfielder faces at least another six to eight weeks on the sidelines.
Cork City secured a narrow win in Tallaght, and manager John Caulfield reckons this will be a “massive challenge” for his players. The hosts have concerns over Garry Buckley, Karl Sheppard, Steven Beattie and Gearóid Morrissey, all of whom will be assessed in the run up to kick-off.
Dundalk, meanwhile, are again without Brian Gartland and John Mountney is also ruled out for the trip to Richmond Park with a groin strain. Liam Buckley is still missing Darren Dennehy but says he is hopeful that the rest of his players can produce some sort of reaction in the wake of Monday’s potentially damaging defeat to Finn Harps.
Ollie Horgan will occupy his usual spot in the Finn Park stand for the visit of Limerick as his side looks to build on that result, but he must again wait to check on the fitness of prominent players such as Paddy McCourt, Barry Molloy and Gareth Harkin.
Among the other early-season strugglers, Galway United have Ronan Murray back from suspension for the visit of Bohemians but doubts about Vinny Faherty (knee), David Crawley (ankle) and Marc Ludden (ankle). The news is better at Drogheda, where Pete Mahon should have Gavin Brennan, Sean Thornton and Ciaran McGuigan available again.
FIXTURES (7.45PM UNLESS STATED)
Bray Wanderers v Sligo Rovers
Cork City v Shamrock Rovers
Drogheda United v Derry City
Galway United v Bohemians
St Patrick’s Athletic v Dundalk
Finn Harps v Limerick (8pm)
Athlone Town v UCD
Shelbourne v Cabinteely