Cork City boss John Caulfield says his team have “an awful lot of improving to do” as they look to re-ignite their Premier Division campaign.
The champions face St Patrick’s Athletic at Turner’s Cross tomorrow, determined to bounce back from a damaging 2-1 defeat to Waterford FC at the RSC last Friday night, a match that saw six red cards brandished by referee Rob Rogers, including one for Caulfield himself.
The result also saw Waterford and Dundalk climb over City at the top of the standings.
Unless a disciplinary decision is made ahead of tomorrow night’s game, Caulfield will be clear to take his place in the Cork dugout as technical staff are not subject to an automatic match ban.
However Steven Beattie — an unused subsitute against Waterford — and Garry Buckley are suspended for their roles in last Friday’s bust-up, which also saw Blues midfielders Bastien Hery, Stanley Aborah, and manager Alan Reynolds dismissed.
Caulfield says he may also look at further changes to his own side as he looks to freshen things up.
“We may make one or two changes. We’re looking at different options,” said Caulfield.
“I still feel within the team and the group there is an awful lot more in us. Even though it’s just the first quarter of the season, I feel there’s an awful lot of improving to do in the team.”
The manner of the defeat to Waterford hurt the Leesiders, and Caulfield admits the squad had a weekend meeting to try to iron out the costly mistakes made at the RSC.
“The Waterford game was very disappointing because it was a game where, first half, we were a goal up, played really well — Mark McNulty only one save to make — we had a couple of opportunities to get the second goal and we didn’t. We pressed the self-destrcut button and gave way a couple of bad goals.
“We had a chat about it, we had a meeting over the weekend. I think you look at your own performances. There’s areas where we didn’t do well so there’s only one way to get back and that’s to get back on the pitch and get back to playing Friday night and try to rectify that result.”
Johnny Dunleavy remains out while Alan Bennett may not be risked.
“Alan hurt his calf a few weeks ago but still hasn’t got full mobilitiy on it. It’s probably a bit frustrating for him and for me but on physios’ advice, he hasn’t trained fully. He’s very close but for Friday night we’re a bit unsure.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved