A top-of-the-table clash with Dundalk may be looming but John Caulfield insists Cork City’s focus is firmly on tonight’s dangerous trip to Dalymount Park to face Bohemians (8pm, live on eirSport).
The champions are back on track after their defeat to Waterford at the RSC a fortnight ago, clocking up home wins over St Patrick’s Athletic and Sligo Rovers. They are two points behind Stephen Kenny’s unbeaten league leaders Dundalk, with the Lilywhites travelling to Turner’s Cross next Friday.
Having steadied the ship after the tumultuous events in Waterford, Caulfield is taking things one day at a time.
“No one has mentioned Dundalk,” he said. “It’s been a very tough week. We needed to bounce back well [from the Waterford defeat], which we have done, we’ve taken six points. The only thing is we haven’t scored some of the chances we’ve created but the pleasing thing is we’re keeping clean sheets.”
Caulfield had to serve a one-match suspension in Tuesday’s nervy 1-0 win over Sligo for his red card at Waterford. Assistant manager John Cotter was in the dugout calling the shots, leaving Cauflield in the stand above.
“It’s not where I’d want to be,” he smiled yesterday.
“But John Cotter has been with me a long time, through my Avondale days. He’ll be a fantastic manager or this club in time, in my opinion. The most important thng is he got the calls right so we’re all a happy family.”
Bohs come in to tonight’s game having lost in Derry but their previous result saw them win a Dublin derby against Shamrock Rovers.
Caulfield said: “Bohs were phenomenal against Shamrock Rovers last week, they played exceptionally well. They were at one-all in Derry and they had a man sent off, so it was 11 v 10, and they conceded late on to lose 3-1.”
Johnny Dunleavy is injured for City and defender Alan Bennett is unlikely to be risked. Steven Beattie and Garry Buckley are suspended.
Bohs skipper Derek Pender (calf) is a doubt, while Paddy Kavanagh is suspended. Oscar Brennan (ankle) remains out alongside long-term absentees Cristian Magerusan (metatarsal) and Ryan Swan (cruciate).
Manager Keith Long says Bohs will have to be at their best on and off the pitch to get a result when Cork come to Dalymount Park tomorrow.
Long said: “We’re playing the double winners so everything has to be right — both performance and atmosphere. Cork are champions for a reason. If you’re not ready for them, they will punish you.”
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