25 August 2017
By David O’Sullivan
Cork City continue their defence of the FAI Cup with a home tie against Athlone Town tonight.
City come into the game on the back of a 1-0 win away to Finn Harps on Monday night, which got them back to winning ways after a surprise 1-0 home reverse against Sligo Rovers. The visitors come into the game having fallen to a heavy defeat to Midlands rivals Longford Town last weekend.
City booked their place in the second round with a 1-0 win away to Bray Wanderers, thanks to Kieran Sadlier’s first goal for the club. Athlone progressed thanks to a 5-0 win against Ballincollig.
Speaking at his weekly press conference ahead of the game, John Caulfield said: “It’s the cup, we won it last year, we are at home and it is a chance to get to the quarter final. Our last two home games, we haven’t won and we haven’t scored, but the attitude and the performance on Monday night was back to where we had been for much of the season, which was hard work, passing the ball and creating chances. While we only scored one goal, we did create chances and we were back to what we have been good at.”
“We are looking forward to Athlone coming down and we expect them to have a much stronger team than they had for the last couple of games. We have had a few knocks ourselves but we are getting most of those fellas back and a number of them come into the reckoning for Friday.”
“We will treat Athlone the same way we treat every other game and we will have our strongest team out. We will need that because we are at home, we haven’t scored in our last two home games and haven’t won them, and we want to go back to performing the way we were.”
“You take the applause and the credit when you do well, and when you don’t perform, you have to stand up and be counted, and to be fair to the players they did. Everyone put their hand up and said we would try and rectify it Monday night, which we did. The lads have been phenomenal all year and they bounced back, as I knew they would. We just have to keep our focus now and keep going.”
“There is something special about the cup as we know from the last two years. Where would you want to be on the last day of the season but the Aviva? We had disappointment two years ago and the elation of last year, and this is a chance to get to the quarter finals.”
On the injury front, Greg Bolger is a doubt, while it is hoped that Robbie Williams and Achille Campion will be available, with both likely to be assessed ahead of kick-off. Johnny Dunleavy and Alec Byrne are long-term absentees.
Injury News: Johnny Dunleavy, Alec Byrne, Greg Bolger, Robbie Williams, Achille Campion
Last meeting: Athlone Town 2-2 Cork City
Last game (League): Finn Harps 0-1 Cork City
League Form (most recent game first): W L W L W W