After losing 3-0 to Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght last Monday, Cork City are looking for an immediate response, in every sense, in their SSE Airtricity Premier Division game against Limerick at Turner’s Cross this afternoon (kick off 2pm).
“We need to come out of the blocks quickly and try to get an early goal,” says Karl Sheppard. “Once we get an early goal, we normally don’t lose games, so I think that’s what we need to try and do.”
Limerick might be coming to Leeside from the wrong end of the table but a 1-1 draw at the Markets Field earlier this season means City manager John Caulfield isn’t taking anything for granted, and wants his team to rediscover the performance levels which brought a 1-0 win over Dundalk a week ago.
“We need to play like we did last Friday night,” he says. “If you underestimate any team in this league, you will get caught out.
“Limerick have had some very good away results, winning in Sligo and drawing away to Rovers. Coming to us, they know they can sit back and play on the counter, so we have to be at our game and, ultimately, it is all about us and making sure we are at the right intensity levels.
“This league is 36 games. It will heat up in September when we go into the run-in and up to that point, you just have to be in the mix. The last time we lost, we bounced back with a run of wins and that is the way you have to react.”
And Sheppard thinks that this is one occasion when there is a potential upside to the league’s much criticised heavy fixture list this season.
“It is good to have a quick turnaround, because you want to make it right as quickly as you can, rather than let it fester,” he says.
While Johnny Dunleavy continues to work his way back from injury for Cork, there are injury doubts tonight concerning Shane Griffin, Gearóid Morrissey, and Conor McCormack.
Today’s other Premier Division game sees Sligo Rovers welcome Bohemians to the Showgrounds (7.45pm). Rovers beat Bray 2-1 last Monday to leapfrog Bohs, who were beaten at home by Waterford, into seventh place. Sligo boss Gerard Lyttle said: “The results have been good, the performances are improving and we’re demanding more because it’s well within us.”
In the First Division, Cobh Ramblers host Longford Town at St Colman’s Park (7.45pm)
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