With a potential moneyspinning tie against Belgian heavyweights Genk awaiting the winners, Cork City will fancy their chances of upsetting BK Hacken for the second time in tomorrow night’s Europa League second round second leg qualifier at Turner’s Cross.
Holding a 2-0 first leg lead, Genk are favourites to advance against Buducnost Podgorica tomorrow in the Macedonian capital but the game at Turner’s Cross may be harder to call, with the tie delicately poised at 1-1.
Cork have the slight advantage with Sean Maguire’s away goal in Sweden last Thursday but manager John Caulfield’s knows his side will have to be at their very best if they are to advance tomorrow night.
“The people who were in Sweden last week could see what a massive club Hacken are with a €25m budget. So we are miles from that and we are miles from the Swedish League,” said Caulfield.
“But we have a lot of passion and a lot of heart. We are a good team and we played well and caused them problems last week. We need more of that again this week but we have to make sure we are well prepared for them on the night.”
The away goal gives City a slight advantage but Caulfield said that this won’t affect the way his team prepare.
“We have to make sure that we start the game right and we’re certainly not thinking of sitting back for a 0-0 draw,” said the City boss. “But we can’t be too gung-ho against a side like Hacken who will open you up. We have to be well organised and keep our shape but at the same time hit them in areas where you think can cause them problems.”
Captain Greg Bolger is a major injury worry for Caulfield, who will give his midfielder every chance of making it. “Greg is a phenomenal player and was the best player on the pitch last week. He won’t train all week and we’ll have to see what he is like on Thursday. But he is a tough nut and wants to play.”
Having accounted for Linfield in the first qualifying round, courtesy of two Sean Maguire goals, the striker was again on the mark last week and Caulfield is thrilled with his new recruit who has been in excellent form since joining the club.
“Yes Seanie’s confidence is sky high at the moment and it’s showing. He’s a great player and his consistency has been there all season and I do think there’s more to come from him.”
BK Hacken travel to Cork on the back of a 0-0 draw with Orebro at the weekend and will be without the suspended Baba Mensah who was sent off last week after taking down Maguire for City’s penalty.
Manager Peter Gerhardsson’s side lie 7th in the Swedish Allsvenskan and he signed Sierra Leone international Alhassan Kamara at the weekend from Orebro. However, the striker is inelgible for tomorrow but Gerhardsson is expected to make a few changes after not being best pleased with last week’s performance.
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