Caulfield says Rovers' tactics will make for cagey affair
John Caulfield says that the chasing pack have to stop cancelling each other out if they're going to catch Dundalk.
But the Cork boss has predicted that Shamrock Rovers will come to Turner's Cross tonight in search of a stalemate.
With the league leaders in Inchicore taking on St Patrick's Athletic, it promises to be a significant night at the top of the League of Ireland table with the big four all engaged in battle with a team which started the season as a title contender.
The difference, according to Caulfield, is that Dundalk have managed to avoid draws and take full points from crunch games to open up a four-point lead over the Leesiders with a game in hand. "They've beaten us and they've beaten Pat's and that's why they're top of the table," he says.
In the first series of fixtures, Cork were involved in scoreless draws away to the Saints and Rovers and his team have been accused of a negative approach on their travels.
However, Caulfield expects that Pat Fenlon's side will journey south with the intention of being difficult to beat.
"He went into Rovers to shore up the defence and keep it tight," says Caulfield. "They've only conceded two goals away from home. Obviously they haven't scored as many goals whereas we're the second highest goalscorers.
"It's certainly not going to be an open and attacking game because that's not the way Rovers play. We expect it to be very tight and they'll probably try and hit us on the counter-attack."
City defender Darren Dennehy was singing from the same hymn sheet as his manager at the pre-match press conference. "Rovers will come down and sit back with every man behind the ball," said the Kerryman. "It's hard to break them down so hopefully we can do it and beat them."
Whether his prediction comes true or not, it should certainly be a lively affair in Dublin 8 given that last weekend's shock loss to Bray has left Liam Buckley's Saints 13 points off the pace in fifth position - with unfancied Bohemians ahead of them in fourth.
The only way they can get themselves back into the picture is by taking points off the teams above them and their followers will be expecting a positive showing against Stephen Kenny's unbeaten defending champions.
Kenny is used to free-flowing battles with Buckley's charges. "They play good football like ourselves," he says. "And they'll give us a really good game.
"Hopefully it will be a good spectacle for fans like there has been through the past few seasons. Since I have came to the club, the matches against St Pat's have always been so tough, especially at Richmond Park."