Cork City will be aiming for six in a row when they host Derry City at Turner’s Cross this evening.
The schedule may be punishing in the SSE Airtricity League of Ireland Premier Division but five victories in succession should put a spring in the home side’s step against a Derry team who were involved in the late drama of a pulsating 2-2 draw with Finn Harps at the Brandywell on Tuesday night, while Cork were beating Bohemians 1-0 in rain-swept Dalymount Park.
“We’ve quite a number of tired bodies after such a quick turnaround and a few of the lads didn’t train this morning,” said City boss John Caulfield.
“We are giving them a bit more rest and recovery and hoping that they will be ok for the Derry game. The big thing for the lads is that they trained very hard in pre-season and it has stood to them over the last number of weeks.
“Obviously, Derry are up challenging for the title and they beat us in the EA Sports Cup a couple of weeks ago, so we know their team, we know who will play and what way they will play but, at the same time, our form has been good. The players are working really, really hard, we are scoring goals, we are creating chances and we haven’t been conceding, so that is all positive.
“While it is a massive match for us, we are at home, we have won five on the bounce and, if we could finish the week off with another win, it would be absolutely brilliant.”
Cork might be frontrunners in the chasing pack but, as in the last two seasons, the team they all have to catch are champions Dundalk who face the battling Harps in Finn Park tonight (8pm).
“We’ve been playing well,” says Lilywhites midfielder Ronan Finn, named the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers Player of the Month for April. “Standards are high and the hunger is still definitely there. Stephen (Kenny) made sure that never slipped.”
Still coming to terms with the late drama of their draw in Derry, Harps boss Ollie Horgan says of tonight’s game: “It is a huge task to play Dundalk if you had a week to prepare for the game, but it makes it even harder with three days. That said, it’s the same turnaround for both teams and we’ll prepare as best as we can ahead of the game.”
Shamrock Rovers yesterday announced the appointment as their new Chief Executive Officer of Brendan Murray, who comes to the club from a senior position with private equity firm FL Partners. But tonight the business that matters most to the Hoops will be on the pitch as they travel to Ferrycarrig Park to play Wexford Youths (8pm).
In tonight’s remaining top-flight fixture, St Patrick’s Athletic welcome Longford Town and the Setanta Sports cameras to Richmond Park (8pm) while, in the First Division, it’s Drogheda United v Shelbourne at United Park and Limerick v Athlone Town at the Markets Field (7.15pm).
Games kick off at 7.45pm unless otherwise indicated.
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