Cork City will begin life after Seanie Maguire and Kevin O’Connor tonight as they host the only team to take league points off them this season, Galway United at Turners Cross.
United head into the game on a 2-game winning streak, having beaten Limerick and Drogheda United, and will be full of confidence heading south.
City go into the game having exited the Europa League against AEK Larnaca, but they will look to get back to winning ways by beating Shane Keegan’s side.
Speaking to the media earlier in the week, City boss John Caulfield said: “Everyone realises that we are in the last third of the season, and we are where we wanted to be, challenging for trophies. We are in a great position, and now we face a Galway side who have fantastic players. We know Gavan Holohan and Stephen Folan well, and they have brought in guys like Lee Grace, David Cawley and Ronan Murray. We drew with them earlier in the season in a really 50/50 game, they have won their last two games, they have turned things around and we know they will be tough opponents.”
“We are coming into the business end of the season and we need our supporters to keep turning out in their droves, because we need their backing. We have put ourselves in a great position and the lads know what we need to do. We have some massive matches over the next ten to fifteen days, starting with Galway.”
“We have won two leagues in thirty-three years, so we are just keeping our focus like we have done all year, taking it game-by-game and getting the points on the board. We have put ourselves in a good position and we need to make sure we keep that up. If you look too far ahead, you will drop points, so we have to keep it going. We have to be at our maximum and, thankfully, this season we have been for nearly all of the matches and that is what we need again on Friday night.”
Cork will definitely be without long-term injury victim Johnny Dunleavy, while Jimmy Keohane and Alan Bennett have both returned to light training this week and will be assessed ahead of kick-off.
Galway United will hope to have received International clearance for their new signing, goalkeeper Charlie Burns, after he joined the club from MK Dons during the week.