Lenihan, who turned 20 last month, has been a stand-out at right-back all season for City, who currently trail Dundalk at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division on goal difference. As well as earning an U21 call-up for the Republic of Ireland, the former Corinthian Boys player has been the subject of transfer speculation, but he isn’t getting distracted.
“I can’t ignore it fully, but at the same time I have to stay focused,” said Lenihan (pictured).
“I’m a Cork City player and that’s the end of it really. It might be a lot more difficult if it was like last season and we were mid-table but the fact that we’re up near the top and doing well, I can concentrate on that and that’s the most important thing for me.
“I don’t think it would be fair on the team if I was thinking about other stuff, it can affect your performances and you don’t want that to happen. It’s not a big distraction, to be honest.”
City travel to Bohemians tonight, coming into the game having lost 2-0 to Shamrock Rovers in the EA Sports Cup on Friday, and manager John Caulfield admits that result could prove to be a blessing in disguise.
“As a manager, you have good habits and you don’t like losing,” he said, “but you have to be realistic at the same time.
“We have increased the strength of our panel to a certain extent but we have Gearóid Morrissey and Rob Lehane out and Darren Murphy is gone for the season. The big thing here is that our strength in depth is still tight. You look at Michael McSweeney, who we signed as an amateur for cover, he played the other night, that tells you how tight it is.
“Maybe in three or four weeks the fact that we’re not in a semi-final might prove to be a good thing. I would say at the moment that having midweek games is putting a strain on our team and I’d prefer to have a match every Friday.
“It gives us more time to recover and it suits us better.”
Bohemians took a point from Turner’s Cross at the end of April, and Caulfield is aware of the task at hand but is hoping to continue the good league form.
“We’ve had five matches in 20 days,” he said, “but our form has been good.
“Against UCD last week it was difficult, but at the same time we came out with the three points. Bohs will be a challenge again, they’ve taken points off all the top teams and they’ve a very good young side coming through.
“After this week we run into quite a number of home games so it’s important to stay in there.”