Sport League of Ireland

Monday 26 February 2018

Cork look to strike early and finish Tallinn show

Cork City manager John Caulfield. Photo: Sportsfile
Cork City manager John Caulfield. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Cork City manager John Caulfield wants a goal to settle the nerves and ensure safe progression to the next round of the Europa League.

The League of Ireland leaders are in an extremely strong position ahead of their second meeting with Levadia Tallinn after scoring a 2-0 success in Estonia last week.

They are resounding favourites to get the job done and set up a meeting with Cypriot side Larnaca in the next round - the order of the fixtures will be determined by results elsewhere this evening.

Caulfield is refusing to look too far ahead, but knows that an early Cork goal this evening would remove any tension from the tie.

"We are looking at a situation that, if we score first, it puts us in a great position," says Caulfield.

"I think it will be an interesting match. Their manager is saying that they can play much better, so we will see. They will be looking to score, silence the crowd and make it nervy.

Change

"They know about us now and may change their formation. They need to come here and score to open the game up, so we need to manage the game properly.

"It is always a tricky situation because people may assume you are already in the next round, but you're not and you have to approach the game properly.

"You only get a certain number of games in Europe each year, if you're lucky, and the ticket sales look very strong, so we expect another huge crowd because our supporters have a huge role to play."

New Cork signing Kieran Sadlier will not be eligible after he signed from Sligo Rovers for an undisclosed fee.

Qualifying for Europe guaranteed Cork a return of €215,000 and a professional job this evening will add another €225,000 to the coffers.

That prize is beyond Derry City after their desperately disappointing thrashing at the hands of FC Midtjylland in Denmark last Thursday.

A 6-1 drubbing for Kenny Shiels's young side means they are playing for pride in tonight's return which takes place at The Showgrounds in Sligo because their temporary home in Buncrana does not meet the relevant criteria.

Derry's Brandywell home is currently under construction.

"We know that we are coming up against a top side, but we also know that we can do better than last week,"said Shiels.

Key men Conor McDermott and Barry McNamee were badly missed in Denmark and are likely to miss out again.

Derry's next game is in fact a league meeting with Sligo in Buncrana on Sunday and that is important as they look to book another continental ticket next year.

Irish Independent

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