Caulfield's eyes still on double despite setback
After last night's first set of FAI Cup fixtures, the first round intensifies this weekend when four of the top five in the Premier Division square up.
Tonight, champions-elect and holders Cork City visit Bray Wanderers determined to maintain their push for the double, while Dundalk welcome Derry City to Oriel Park tomorrow.
City boss John Caulfield has attempted to contextualise his side's EA Sports Cup exit to Shamrock Rovers on Monday - only their second domestic defeat of the season - by reasserting his objectives.
Bray don't present the same proposition as earlier in the season, given the turmoil of the last five weeks, and their bid to halt a five-game winless run gets the ultimate test.
Though they managed to arrest the alarming slide last week by drawing at Bohemians, the Seagulls remain a shadow of the team which beat Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers earlier in the campaign.
"Harry (Kenny) has done incredibly well at Bray," said Caulfield about his opposite number.
"They are probably looking at us now thinking it is a real opportunity to get a cup run because they've kept all of their key players and have come through a difficult few weeks.
"We won the cup last year and want to get another run going this year.
"Losing on Monday was disappointing but the only thing to do is bounce back.
"At the start of the year, our aims were the league title, to do well in Europe and in the FAI Cup."
Elsewhere, two of the top-flight's strugglers face tricky assignments against First Division clubs.
Limerick boss Neil McDonald is in dire need of a victory at Cobh Ramblers while Sligo Rovers make the short trip to Longford Town.
"This takes our mind off the league a bit but we don't want the tie going to extra-time and penalties," cautioned Limerick's Lee-J Lynch, whose side are slipping towards the drop zone after taking just one point from their latest four league games.
"Cobh are doing well in the First Division and St Colman's Park is a hard place to go."