Cork City will aim to avoid an unwanted record as Sligo Rovers visit Turner’s Cross in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division today (5pm).
Defeat at Waterford on Friday made it five league games without a win — one short of the six-match winless run towards the end of the 2017 double season.
Sligo are level on 11 points from 11 games with City and manager John Caulfield is hopeful that things can be turned around.
“You have to create your own luck,” he said. “You look at the last three games, we make a mistake in the last minute against Pat’s, lose two points, one of our senior players made a mistake.
“On Monday night, again we made a mistake, another one of our senior players, these things happen and against Waterford the goal takes a deflection.
There were bright spots on Friday, but mainly in the first half, with City coming closest when Garry Buckley had a goal ruled out for offside.
“I thought in the first half we were quite good,” Caulfield said, “we played well, we passed the ball well, we were lively and sharp.
“It was still a tight match, obviously there was a chance where Graham had a volley from eight or ten yards out and Matt Connor saved it, Bucks taps in the rebound and he’s flagged for offside.
“It was a great chance but, at the moment, we’re not scoring goals and in the second half they were a bit better, there wasn’t much in the game but Shane Duggan took a shot, it took a deflection off Dan Casey and deceived Mark.
“Unfortunately, that’s just the way it’s going at the moment. Our confidence is down but we have to work to see if we can rectify it on Monday.”
Winger Dáire O’Connor, injured in City’s last win, against Bohs on March 15, returned as a sub on Friday.
“You’d hope he would be back Monday but it’s about easing him in,” Caulfield said.
“He’s been off a while, probably, medically, he needs another couple of weeks but he got some game-time and thankfully he’ll be on the way back and so will Shep [Karl Sheppard].
“There were four, five, six players missing on Friday. Garry Comerford will be back in for Monday after suspension, Benno [Alan Bennett] is touch and go, Shep I’m not sure about, Colm Horgan, no.
“There are senior players out and we could certainly do with them, no doubt about that. We have to get back out and get going and do everything we can to get a result.”
Sligo boss Liam Buckley said: “I think it’s going to be a real scrap given where the teams are and where they want to be.”
Dundalk can go second if they win away to UCD at 3pm, Waterford host Derry City at 4pm and Finn Harps take on St Patrick’s Athletic at 5pm.