Cork City make the long trip to the Brandywell, to face in-form Derry City on Friday night.
City recorded a 2-1 win over Limerick at Turner’s Cross on Saturday, maintaining their 100% home record this season. That win also saw them bounce back after a 3-0 defeat away to Shamrock Rovers the previous Monday, their last away fixture.
Derry, for their part, fell to a surprise defeat away to Bray Wanderers last Friday, bringing to an end a ten-match unbeaten run. Their last home league game was a 0-0 draw with Shamrock Rovers, while they also recorded a 7-3 EA SPORTS Cup win over Shelbourne on Monday.
This will be the first meeting of the sides this season, after the meeting scheduled for Turner’s Cross in March was postponed due to international call-ups. The sides met three times last season, with John Caulfield’s side winning two and the other ending in a draw.
At his weekly press conference, City manager John Caulfield spoke to the media saying: “It has been very, very intense in recent weeks and I think that is why you have seen results that are unpredictable, compared to other years. To have a complete week of training before going up to Derry is something we are happy about.”
“They have a very good home record, they are unbeaten and they have scored a lot of goals. They have a young, dynamic team with a lot of wise heads in amongst them. The likes of Doherty, Peers and Patterson are guys who have been around the league a long time and know it inside out. They also have the likes of McEneff, Curtis and Hale. They are a bit like ourselves, their home record is really good and they have put themselves right up there to challenge for the league title.”
“We know it will be a very difficult game, as it always is at the Brandywell, but, at the same time, we are going up there with a full squad. The guys coming in off the bench are doing really well, and that is important.”
Alan Bennett also spoke after making his return from injury on Saturday: “It was great to be back, really good. It went on a bit longer than I thought it would, which was a bit disappointing, but it is gone now, so it is all good.”
“It (Limerick) was a good game to come back into and it was a good game in the sense that, maybe in the past, we would have drawn that game, having missed the penalty and conceded, but I think this group has moved beyond that in terms of mentality and strength of character.”
“John has been building up the squad and the strength in depth slowly but surely over the last few years. If you go back, he was bringing on young lads, inexperienced lads off the bench, but now you are bringing in guys with big experience and high levels of game time under their belts; you have to make an impact and that is what he wants.”