Skipper and midfield ace Greg Bolger has been passed fit to play for Cork City in their historic Europa League Third Round qualifier against Belgium’s Genk at Luminus Arena tomorrow night, writes Noel Spillane.
The former St Pat's and Dundalk man has recovered from an ankle ligament injury after he ‘rolled’ his ankle in the game with Linfield in Belfast but he comes in to steady the ship tonight.
Manager John Caulfield looks set to name an unchanged team from that which knocked the Swedish Cup holders, BK Hacken out in the last round with a 2-1 aggregate win at Turner’s Cross last week.
“The fact that this is our third European tie, the lads are used to the routine and the preparation but having seen the Genk stadium again at training tonight we are under no illusions about the task facing us.
Genk are a bigger club than Hacken and we expect more intensity in the game.
They have some very good players and they look to be a more powerful team that we played last week.
They are a strong, physical side packed with internationals so we know it could be a backs-to-the-wall situation,” said Caulfield in his pre-match interview.
“It’s a unique occasion for us and all the lads have bought into it. We have an honest bunch of players, we have a great team spirit and that’s all we can ask for tonight,” added Caulfield who has four players - Kenny Browne, Steven Beattie, Garry Buckley and Bolger all on yellow cards and one booking away from missing the return leg at Turner’s Cross.
“The underdog always has a chance and we proved that against the Swedish Cup champions last week but here I think we’d need Genk to have an off night and not play as well as they can.
“A 1-0 away defeat would not be a bad result for us and it would keep the tie alive for Cork next week. Genk certainly take it up a notch or two but we have a bit of momentum behind us going into this historic fixture,” he added.