Caulfield demands top-class performance
Intensity has been a big factor in Cork's success this season, but their manager John Caulfield has warned that some patience will be required in this evening's encounter with Spanish-influenced AEK Larnaca.
The Cypriot outfit have a dozen Spaniards in their squad and their possession game will test the concentration of a Cork side that has dominated opponents at Turner's Cross this term.
It means that the hosts will have spells without the ball in Sean Maguire and Kevin O'Connor's last home game before their move to Preston - their new boss Alex Neil and several members of the squad will be in attendance. Caulfield has indicated that they might see a different game to the norm.
"They will keep possession and try to open up the gaps and wear you down to create chances," he says. "It is a massive challenge but at the same time, we look back to last year and we knocked out Hacken and gave Genk a serious test too so we know nothing will do other than a top-class performance.
"We are up against it but these guys have done incredibly well for the last couple of seasons and I'll be disappointed if we didn't have a really serious go at them."
O'Connor added: "We're going to have to sit in sometimes and be disciplined when they're on the ball. We did it well in Europe last year, and then attacking on the counter.
"It's a big game for the club, it's massive financially and we're just hoping to leave on a high."
The Wexford native is a certainty to start at left full but central defence is a talking point with Alan Bennett back in training but still rated as a doubt.
His experience would be a huge help to the Leesiders, especially with John Dunleavy out with a another long-term knee problem.
"This is where you want to be," says Caulfield, "You look at last Thursday (4 -2 win v Levadia), nearly 7,000 people there, the noise ringing in the lads' ears coming out of the tunnel. We were 2-1 down at half-time but the crowd understood the difficulty of the match; they were really incredible for us and we need all of that again."