And, after retaining their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division lead with a 4-0 win in Bray on Friday, the City manager makes no secret of the fact that next Friday’s league meeting with the high-flying Blues takes precedence in the champions’ season.
“The way we feel about it, the league is number one and FAI Cup is number two,” he says. “The League Cup, at the end of the day, won’t get you into Europe and there is no prize money. Obviously it’s a competition you would like to win but at the same time, we need to give everyone game time so we will certainly make lots of changes.
“To be fair to the lads, a lot of them played in the Munster Senior Cup game last week. The guys on the bench are all eager to play and the strength in depth is better than we’ve ever had it so there are lads who feel they should be starting and that is fair enough.”
Caulfield was pleased with the win in Bray and, in particular, the fact that City registered their first away clean sheet of the season at the Carlisle Grounds, but he still regards this year’s team as a work in progress.
“We’ve a lot of work to do,” he says. “We changed our team considerably from last season in certain positions so we’ve a lot of improving to do in our team. But at the same time we’ve more goals scored than anyone else. Half of those games we have kept clean sheets so we’re doing okay but there is a lot more in us. We have to make sure we’re right up there at the break and then in the second half of the season look after ourselves.”
Today’s other EA Sports Cup second round games: Bohemians v UCD, Dalymount Park, 3pm; St. Patrick’s Athletic v Dundalk, Richmond Park, 3pm; Finn Harps v Derry City, Finn Park, 5pm; Galway United v Sligo Rovers, Eamonn Deacy Park, 5pm; Limerick v Cobh Ramblers, Markets Field, 5pm; and Shamrock Rovers v Longford Town, Tallaght Stadium, 7pm.