Sport League of Ireland

Sunday 19 August 2018

Stephen O'Donnell explains why Stephen Kenny won't be too 'intense' ahead of Cork City showdown

Stephen Kenny and John Caulfield
Stephen Kenny and John Caulfield

STEPHEN O'DONNELL says that Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny knows his players don't need to be reminded of the importance of tomorrow's showdown with rivals Cork City.

The Lilywhites skipper expects a fired up Kenny in the preparation for games with weaker opponents, because that is his way of tackling complacency.

Dundalk are under pressure to get a result against Cork at Oriel Park tomorrow as they have failed to register a win over their rivals since October 2016.

And the Leesiders have made a perfect start to the new campaign with three wins from three whereas Dundalk are four points off the pace following a win and two draws.

However, O'Donnell - who could feature in the game after recovering from injury - doesn't anticipate a series of rousing speeches from Kenny ahead of the Cork encounter. The Galwegian says that the Dundalk manager trusts his players to be aware of the stakes.

"Our manager would nearly be more intense in the week leading up to a game with a weaker team, making sure everyone is on thier toes," said O'Donnell, on the latest LOI Weekly podcast which looks ahead to the clash of the top two for the past four seasons.

"These games motivational wise, they look after themelves. No player will need to be told 'come on, we have a game to play.'

"He won't do anything differently because every week we address the opposition, their strengths and weaknesses, and how we think we can exploit them. He would be more on his guard if we were playing one of the so-called weaker teams. If you're playing one of those teams and you're not in the right mental state, that's where he really fires it into you."

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