It’s Munster Derby day at Turners Cross tonight as runaway leaders Cork City host Limerick, with a kick-off time of 8.00pm live on Eir Sport.
Both managers gave their thoughts ahead of the big TV clash.
Speaking to the assembled media, John Caulfield said: “Limerick have some very good players and they have a very good team. We know on Friday night that Limerick will come down with the belief that they are going to beat us and we have to be on our guard.”
“If you want challenge for trophies and compete in Europe, you need fellas who can be eight out of ten every week, and thankfully we are at a stage now where we feel that, every week, they are consistent and that gives you a right chance.”
“We have to make sure that we can give a performance like the one we put in against Dundalk, and if we can play at that level and intensity, then I will be very happy. If we don’t, or we switch off, then it will be a tricky match for us. It is crucial that we keep the momentum going and that we are prepared for Friday night.”
After picking up a knock to his ankle on Monday, Ryan Delaney is regarded as extremely doubtful, while there is also a concern over the availability of Steven Beattie.
According to Limerick manager Neil McDonald, “The pressure is all on Cork.”
“We’re certainly looking forward to it. It’s really good to go and play the Champions elect, undefeated this season. It’s going to be a very, very difficult game for us to play away from home. But we’re not going in with a defeatist attitude. We’re going to try to upset, try to create and try to win the game,” McDonald told LimerickFC.ie.
“The pressure is all on Cork. When you’ve won 16 out of your 17 games, you’re expected to win. We’ll try to surprise Cork on how we go about it – how we try to stop them but how we get at them as well.”
“Everyone keeps on telling me this is a Munster Derby, so it’s important that we try to perform well against the top team in the league, and if we can get some points that would be fantastic. We would only be the second team to do that and that will make us feel good about ourselves and give us huge confidence for the rest of the season.”
“There are two ways of looking at that,” Neil said, asked if the midseason break had helped or hindered them. “If we’ve had a few injuries hopefully they will come back fit, but at the same time I wanted to work with the players. Some of them had a little bit of a break which is good – they’ve come back and trained really well this week. I’m happy with that.”
“Ideally, it wasn’t a good break but, on the other side, with them having a little bit of a rest themselves after a good victory and a good performance against Bray, they’re still in good fettle and they’re really looking forward to the game.”
“It has been good this week. We’ve trained well and we’ve had a little bit of feedback on the video as well, so it hasn’t always been physical, it’s been mental preparation as well as tactical preparation. We’re on the grass today at the Markets Field so we’re really pleased with that and we’ll look forward to travelling down to Cork tomorrow.”