SSE Airtricity League: Limerick manager Neil McDonald insists “the pressure is all on Cork” as he prepares for his first Munster derby at Turner’s Cross tonight (8pm, live on eirSport2).
“It’s really good to go and play the champions-elect. It’s going to be a very, very difficult game for us to play away from home. But we’re not going in with a defeatist attitude. We’re going to try to upset, try to create and try to win the game,” McDonald told LimerickFC.ie.
“The pressure is all on Cork. When you’ve won 16 out of your 17 games, you’re expected to win. Everyone keeps on telling me this is a Munster derby, so it’s important we try to perform well against the top team in the league, and if we can get some points that would be fantastic. It would give us huge confidence for the rest of the season.”
Meanwhile, ahead of the Louth derby at United Park this evening, veteran Drogheda manager Pete Mahon has warned that obituaries for the Lilywhites are premature.
“Dundalk are still a quality side and they’re being written off too early in the media,” he said. “They had to make several changes in personnel this season and those players are just taking time to settle.
“I thought the 3-0 scoreline in Oriel flattered Cork a little before the break. There’s no doubt that Cork are the best team in the league but I don’t think the gap between the sides is as big as the league table suggests.”
Dundalk were back in the lion’s den during the break, training at Fota Island, but now they want to put unhappier memories of Cork firmly behind them.
“We have had some good results recently, obviously that was before the defeat to Cork,” said Stephen Kenny. “That was disappointing. It is important we bounce back with a good performance tonight.”
Bray Wanderers manager Harry Kenny will be hoping that recharged batteries after the mid-season break can see his side buck the form book at home to Derry City.
Derry’s unbeaten league run stretched to 10 games when they defeated Galway United 2-1, enough to push Kenny Shiels’ side to within two points of Dundalk. By contrast, the previously high-flying Seagulls have failed to win in five league games.
Finn Harps, in eighth, will be hoping to maintain their recent resurgence at home to Shamrock Rovers (8pm) while second from bottom St Pats badly need a victory in their Dublin derby against Bohs at Richmond Park.
In the First Division, Waterford host Cabinteely at the RSC while UCD welcome Shelbourne to the UCD Bowl and Wexford are at home to Athlone Town (8pm)
Unless otherwise indicated, games kick off tonight at 7.45pm.
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