After the disappointment of conceding a last minute equaliser to St Pat’s on Friday, Cork City are back in action tonight in search of a much-needed three points against UCD at the UCD Bowl (7.45pm).
After a poor start to the season, John Caulfield’s side have only 11 points from nine games played and are a remarkable 17 points behind pacesetters Shamrock Rovers.
Last season’s runners-up should have taken full points on Friday with Harry Kenny’s Saints forced to play with 10 men for 55 minutes following Dave Webster’s sending-off. But Caulfield feels his side are due a little luck and thinks they aren’t playing as badly as their league position suggests.
“We paid the price for not taking our chances and killing the game on Friday. We had a good few chances and we hit the crossbar and post but if you don’t kill a team off, the danger is that you’ll give away a soft goal,” said the City boss.
“That’s the way it’s going for us at the moment and we are struggling to keep a clean sheet. It was very frustrating as I thought we deserved the three points. It was a sickener of a goal to give away and it was two points dropped.”
With such a quick turnaround, Caulfield’s side have an ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways against a UCD side who are second from bottom on seven points
and lost at home to Derry on Friday.
“We have an incredibly heavy fixture schedule over the next few weeks and we have a lot of our attacking options missing at the moment.
“The positives are that we have a lot of good young players coming through and we have to integrate them.
“It was disappointing to concede a late goal on Friday, but we have to keep working hard. It will change but you can’t feel sorry for yourself.
“We probably had six or seven chances inside the box on Friday night. When you’re winning every week, they go in, but at the moment they’re not, you just have to get your head right for the next game.”
With City struggling to find the net, their task won’t be made any easier with one of their main goal threats Karl Sheppard set to miss out again having being ruled out of the Pat’s clash. He could be struggling for Friday’s trip to Waterford also.
Youngster Cian Murphy, who started against Pat’s but was forced off with a hamstring injury, is also missing, while Liam Nash had his contract with the club terminated by mutual consent. However, James Tilley returns after suspension and Caulfield will be hoping the English man will add attacking threat.
Champions Dundalk will look to bounce back from their weekend defeat to Sligo Rovers when they face second-placed Bohemians this evening. “Friday was frustrating and not a good night for us but we have a game quickly to put things right,” said Dundalk keeper Gary Rogers.
Romeo Parkes is doubtful with a hamstring problem as Sligo Rovers host Waterford while Derry City travel to St Pat’s. The Saints are without suspended pair Mikey Drennan and Dave Webster. All games kick off at 7.45pm.