A sell-out crowd is expected as Cork City and Dundalk meet at Turner’s Cross on Friday night.
Cork City have five wins from five at home so far this season, with their most recent outing at Turner’s Cross a 1-0 win over Sligo Rovers last week. They followed that up with a 2-0 win away to Bohemians last Friday, to give John Caulfield’s side three wins in a row.
The visitors, who are ahead of City on goal difference, drew 2-2 at home to Derry City last Friday night, while their last away fixture saw them record a 3-0 win over Limerick.
The sides have met twice so far this year, with a win apiece. In the President’s Cup, City ran out 4-2 winners at Oriel Park after coming back from two nil down. In the league, Dundalk were 1-0 winners at the same venue in March.
City boss John Caulfield spoke to the media at his weekly press conference and he said his side were looking forward to the tie: “The main thing on Friday night is that kick-off is half an hour earlier. For the supporters, that can be difficult with people rushing from work to get to the game, but I am asking them to try and get in as early as possible and to try and create that atmosphere because it is a huge game. The ticket sales have been phenomenal, and it looks like it will be a sell-out. We need to create that passionate, hostile atmosphere because it is a big game but, equally, it is not a league decider or anything like that, because it is still early in the season.”
“For us, we are at home and we have put a good run together. We have had three consecutive clean sheets and three wins since the Waterford game, and we want to try and carry that confidence into Friday night in front of our own fans.”
“We know the challenge that is there, and we need to focus on our own game. We have brought a number of new players through, we have had to do that, and we have done very well. It is early days, but the season has started very well for us.”
“It is a big game, a full house and it is about us trying to give that performance that we usually do at home. We know Dundalk are in flying form and are a very, very good side, but we are not a bad team either! We need to make sure that we are ready for the game. There is a great atmosphere and a great spirit in the squad; all the new players have really adapted to what we are looking for and they understand the pressure there is down here. As a management team, we are delighted with the hard work and the attitude of the lads, and we know there is a lot more in this team.”
Midfielder Gearóid Morrissey also spoke to the assembled media about the atmosphere he and his team mates were expecting, commenting: “We know, when we go into these games, that we need to be at our best. It is a hugely anticipated game and we can’t wait for it. In any league, when the two best teams play, everyone needs to be on their game and, when everybody is on their game, I think you come up a level.”
“Playing in Turner’s Cross… we buzz off it. When you’re coming in and there are queues outside the gate, the buzz is great, it consumes the city. I think Turner’s Cross is special; the atmosphere is brilliant.”
“We know how big a game it is and we know what we need to do. All we can do is focus on it, train hard and approach the game in the right way. If we put in the work, I think we can come out the right side of the result.”