Sunday 18 August 2019

Caulfield believes Rovers will go for the jugular

It was a victory for Derry City. (stock picture)
It was a victory for Derry City. (stock picture)
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Cork City boss John Caulfield has suggested that Shamrock Rovers have arrived at Turner's Cross in recent seasons with a plan to contain the Leesiders.

He expects it will be different tonight, with the high-flying Hoops arriving in good heart with a seven-point lead at the top of the table - albeit with two more games played than their pursuers.

In truth, there's more scrutiny on Cork after last Friday's defeat in Oriel Park, their third loss of the season.

Cork sit sixth in the Premier Division table, 12 points behind Rovers.

"In the last couple of years coming down here, and particularly last year, they played cagey and got a draw," says Caulfield.

"This year, they are high-flying and scoring lots of goals, you'd imagine they see this as an opportunity to put more distance between us and them.

"For the last couple of years, Stephen (Bradley) has been building for a title challenge and this seems like the year it could happen, with the way they have started. We need a huge passionate crowd and a high-energy performance.

"We have achieved incredible results over the last five seasons but this season is going to be hard. We are rebuilding."

Second-placed Dundalk are also on their travels this week, locking horns with St Patrick's Athletic again after prevailing in an EA Sports Cup encounter earlier in the week.

That was primarily an outing for second-string players, but St Patrick's Athletic did use some first-teamers in a bid to generate some momentum.

Mikey Drennan is still the only player to score a league goal for the Saints this term, and he is suspended.

Bottom side Finn Harps welcome Derry City to Ballybofey for a North-West derby and they are also in need of a push in the right direction after six league losses on the bounce - they did knock Sligo Rovers out of the EA Sports Cup on Monday.

"There is a huge difference between that and the challenge we will be facing tonight," said Harps boss Ollie Horgan.

"It has certainly given the players a lift but that must be balanced by being fully ready to go flat out against Derry. It has to be a team approach to try to contain Derry going forward and then try and create ourselves."

Derry boss Declan Devine is telling his players to ignore league placings, pointing out how top teams have toiled in Ballybofey this term.

"Cork needed four goals to win there and Rovers needed a very late winner, while Dundalk only managed a draw," said Devine.

Cork City v Shamrock Rovers, Live, RTé 2, 7.45

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