City are just four points behind SSE Airtricity League Premier Division leaders Dundalk following last week’s 1-0 win over St Patrick’s Athletic, and Caulfield insists there is no room for focusing on anything except the immediate task at hand.
“The game on Friday night is so important, that you can’t but concentrate 100% on it,” he said.
“Obviously, the guys who are suspended [Colin Healy, Billy Dennehy and Garry Buckley] will be in contention for Monday night, you know straightaway that they’re going to be involved.
“Otherwise, I have no idea of my team for Monday. Friday is too big a game. The fact that you’re in the run-in, you have to keep your concentration and stay focused.
“You have to keep getting the results, there’s a lot of football still to be played and there’ll be funny results. If we can hang in there, who knows?”
Caulfield will have Brian Lenihan available again after he suffered a concussion in the defeat to Bohemians — who City play in the FAI Ford Cup next week — and he is likely to play as a transfer is no closer to materialising.
“It’s at a delicate stage, there are ongoing talks every day,” he said.
“We rejected a bid and a couple of counter-bids. The bottom line is that it will happen, but we have a very busy week, we have Derry, Bray on Monday and then the cup game next Friday.
“From our own point of view, we’re in no rush to push it over the line at the moment. Medically, he’s good, he’s after getting the all-clear to play.”
City have beaten Derry twice already this season, but Caulfield — who revealed that midfielder Darren Murphy, who has been plagued with injury, has terminated his contract — is expecting a different animal under manager Peter Hutton.
“Peter has got them playing,” he said. “They’re very attack-minded and we know that they’re a totally different team, even from the game in Turner’s Cross when Peter was just after taking over, they were still in a bit of transition.
“He’s had them now for three months and they’ve turned their form around, they’re banging in goals and it’s like the old days going to the Brandywell, we know it’s going to be a difficult game and really tough.
“It’s a challenge for us and there’s pressure on to make sure that we stay in there.”