“We fought long and hard with those negotiations, which were in April, to keep him until the end of the season,” said Caulfield. “He was wanted on the first of July but we fought and got him for seven more matches before he went — and they were crucial. People are saying we were a one-man team but tell me one team that has a fella that gets 20 goals and wins the league that isn’t a one-man team, if that’s the case. Gary Twigg, Christy Fagan, Pat Morley, all the greats — at the end of the day you need a guy who’ll get you 16 to 20 goals. You’ll not win a league unless you have a player like that. Dundalk had the luxury that they had two players, (David) McMillan and (Ciaran) Kilduff, both getting double numbers but our luxury was that we had Seanie Maguire. And to replace a guy like that, we’ll try and do that over the next season but, in fairness to young (Connor) Ellis and (Achille) Campion, it’s not going to happen straight away.”
“People are saying you’re not scoring as much and that’s true but, at the same time, we’ve played five games in the last 15 days and we’ve won two crucial league games and we’re in the next round of the FAI Cup, so we have to be happy with that.”
Caulfield praised recent signing Kieran Sadlier who, having just had a penalty saved, scored what proved to be the decisive goal for City as they began the defence of their FAI Cup with a 1-0 win away to Bray Wanderers on Saturday.
“In fairness to him, two minutes after his penalty miss — he gets a cracking goal. And it’s the type of goal we’ll see a lot more of from him over the next couple of years because he’s a fantastic talent. He’s a magic player.”
Meanwhile, Caufield has again defended Alan Bennett who was suspended for the Bray game having been sent off for an alleged stamp on Shamrock Rovers’ Dave Webster in last week’s EA Sports Cup semi-final. Bennett is likely to face a further minimum two-game ban arising out of a controversial incident which subsequently saw Hoops boss Stephen Bradley strongly criticise Caulfield for his suggestion Bennett was innocent and that Webster had contributed to his sending off.
“I stand by (the position) that he never stamped Dave Webster and he has said himself that he never did,” said Caulfield yesterday.
“As I keep saying, it’s better we have managers that stand up and promote the league and try and encourage people to come to games rather than slagging other managers off. A lot of people like to do that to me but that’s grand, I’ve been around a long time. Ultimately, all managers will be judged on the results in the time they managed their clubs.”
City will today find out who their opponents in the second round of the cup will be after a slow start in the Carlisle Grounds on Saturday gave way to an impressive victory over Bray Wanderers in which Garry Buckley was the driving force in the middle of the park.
Just short of the hour mark, Aaron Greene, with something of a striker’s tackle, tripped the impressive Shane Griffin in the Bray box and referee Robert Harvey had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Up stepped Sadlier, hoping to score his first goal for his new club, but his shot was comfortably pushed away for a corner by Lee Steacy. It proved to be a short-lived reprieve for the home side, however, and an equally short wait for Sadlier to finally open his account for City as, just two minutes later, after a neat exchange of passes with Griffin, he crashed the ball into the top corner of the net for the match-winning goal.
Steacy, Buckley, Clancy, Kenna, Moore, Sullivan, Brennan, Salmon (Lynch 84), Noone (McCabe 65), Marks (Pender 60), Greene.
McNulty, McCormack, Williams (McCarthy 81), Delaney, Griffin, Bolger, Morrissey, Beattie (Campion 61), Buckley, Sadlier, Sheppard