26 February 2018
By Bryan Smyth
Cork City are on the road again on tonight, as they travel west to face Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds.
City followed up their opening day win at St. Pat’s with a home victory over Waterford at Turner’s Cross on Friday night, giving the 2017 league champions two wins from two at the start of their title defence.
Sligo also come into the game on the back of a home win on Friday night, as they recorded a 2-1 triumph over Derry City. That result saw Sligo record their first points of the season, having fallen to a 1-0 defeat at home to Limerick on the opening day.
City manager John Caulfield, speaking after training on Sunday morning, commented: “We are looking forward to Monday’s game. We had a very difficult game on Friday night, but we were delighted to get the win in front of an absolutely phenomenal crowd. We are on the road to Sligo now, and most of the players who played the other night seem to be in good condition, while we also have Graham back from suspension.”
“We know that teams will raise their game against us and you can see that. In terms of Sligo, it is Gerard Lyttle’s own team now, as he has said himself. He has introduced four or five new players and has a much stronger squad. They should have won against Limerick, but they turned it around against Derry and had a great win.”
“It is a great game for Sligo, to be at home after winning on Friday night but, at the same time, we expect every team to put it up to us and it is up to us to be at our best. Sligo is a fantastic club with fantastic support and, over the last few years, they have always made it difficult for us. They caused us lots of problems last year and they feel they can qualify for Europe this year, so we have no doubt that it will be another difficult match.”
“We need to be at our best and, if we do that, fine, but if we don’t, we won’t be taking any points and that is the challenge to us. We have more strength in depth this season and we can make changes but, at the same time, you could see our second half performance against Waterford was very good. We just have to get on the ball and move it around like we are well capable of doing. We know it is always difficult going to Sligo and nothing but a good performance will give us any chance of getting a result.”
Garry Buckley returned from injury to score on Friday night, however Johnny Dunleavy and Josh O’Hanlon are both still side-lined. Graham Cummins returns to the squad having served a one match suspension, while Conor McCarthy will have a late fitness test after missing Friday’s win.
Injury News: Johnny Dunleavy, Josh O’Hanlon, Conor McCarthy
Last game: Cork City 3-0 Waterford
Last away game: St. Pat’s 2-3 Cork City
League Form (most recent game first): W W