Defeat by Derry City in the EA Sports Cup might have disrupted momentum but Cork City can still make it four wins on the spin in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division if they overcome Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds this evening (7.30pm).
“It’s a massive match for us,” says City boss John Caulfield.
“Bray have changed managers and they beat Pat’s last week. They have a lot of experienced players and, as we know from going to Bray over the years, games there are really tight.
“You could see that from the Cup semi-final last year and in our league game which we drew up there towards the end of the season.”
“Last week was very good and I have been saying to the lads that they have raised the bar and that is the level they need to play at. We need to be at our highest intensity, our highest performance levels and I feel, if we are at that, we will win the match.”
“It’s a difficult venue and they are good side who will cause teams problems, so we have to be on our game. We go there expecting that we are going to win the three points and that is what we have to focus on.”
Kenny Browne will miss out through suspension but while Karl Sheppard, Gearóid Morrissey, Mark O’Sullivan and Michael McSweeney have all struggled with knocks, Caulfield is hopeful that they will be available.
Shamrock Rovers, who beat Bray 2-0 last time out in the league, visit the City Calling Stadium to play the top flight’s basement dwellers Longford Town (7.30pm). The home side extracted a hard-earned point in the last outing when they came back from two down to draw with Galway United.
For this evening’s game, Rovers will be without David O’Connor and Luke Byrne, the latter ruled out for the rest of the season after incurring a serious knee injury against Cork. Centre-half Max Blanchford is rated doubtful for the Hoops.
In tonight’s other Premier League game, resurgent Sligo Rovers are coming off the back of a surprise 0-2 away win in Derry to host struggling Wexford Youths at the Showgrounds (7.45pm).
Meanwhile, in the First Division, it’s the turn of Cobh Ramblers to see if they put a stop to the gallop of runaway leaders Limerick, as the Shannonsiders take their 100% record to St Colman’s Park (7.15pm).
And there’s a Dublin derby on the east coast as Cabinteely host Shelbourne at Stradbrook (3pm).
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