John Caulfield expects Dundalk to put faith in old reliables

Cork City boss John Caulfield expects rivals Dundalk to restore faith in their old reliables as the champions face a trip to Oriel Park on Friday night (8pm, live on eirSport2).

The Lilywhites have undergone change on and off the pitch since last season. Investment group Peak6 have taken control of the club and have helped manager Stephen Kenny to draft in players from Hungary, Lithuania, and Norway.

With the weather putting paid to last weekend’s League of Ireland fixture programme, Dundalk opted to play a challenge match against Irish League side Warrenpoint on Sunday, winning 4-0 with the goals coming from four new signings in Karolis Chvedukas, Krisztián Adorján, Sam Byrne, and Marco Tagbajumi.

Caulfield however, feels the dangers on Friday night will come from closer to home.

“They’ll be back to basics,” said Caufield. “Brian Gartland hadn’t played for them but he played last Sunday, and Stephen O’Donnell played last week.

“I think a lot of the foreign players won’t play. Stephen Kenny likes to stick to players he’s known for a while.

“Pat Hoban (re-signed by the club in November) has been there before even though he’s only coming in, and Ronan Murray has been in our league at Galway last year.

“All the rest are guys who have been with them the last few years.”

Like all clubs, City’s preparations were hampered by last week’s snowfall but Caulfield has tried to use it as a positive and a break from a hectic early season schedule. City have been on the road three times already this season, with a 4-2 President’s Cup win over Dundalk, followed up by away league wins at St Pat’s and Sligo, as well as a Munster derby win at Turner’s Cross over Waterford.

“In some ways, the cancellation was good, believe it or not,” Caulfield contends. “Since the season started we’ve gone from the Presidents Cup to playing Friday, Monday, Friday, so there was a bit of overload when you get that so early in the season. A few days off was welcome, and gave guys a bit of a chance to recover.

“It probably dragged on but all clubs were affected and clubs were struggling to train like ourselves but we’re back in since Sunday and back on track.”

City have no fresh injury concerns and striker Josh O’Hanlon is back in training, and could yet feature on Friday night.

More in this Section

First-half brace puts Cork City in cruise control against Bohemians

Graham Burke penalty ends Limerick FC’s unbeaten home run

Rice happy in green: ‘There’s no decision to be made’

Ryan Giggs: I’ll give youth a whirl for Wales

Breaking Stories

Luke Shaw can be 'one of the best in the world': Ashley Young

Rory McIlroy reveals details of tournament win celebrations ... two glasses of wine and ice cream!

GAA reveal plans for outstanding fixtures hit by weather

Watch Mark Noble score a wonder volley in West Ham training


New father’s life ‘changed forever’ after he was run over by surgeon

The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner