Cork City welcome Bray Wanderers to Turner’s Cross on Friday night, with John Caulfield’s side aiming to continue their good home form.
City have a 100% record there this season; their 2-1 win against Limerick in their last home outing marked the first time this season that an away team has scored at Turner’s Cross. City’s last game was a 0-0 draw away to Derry City last week, in an entertaining tie that either side could have won.
Bray come into the game on the back of an impressive 2-2 draw against a high-flying Waterford side on Monday night. Their last away fixture saw the Seagulls suffer a 2-1 reverse against Sligo Rovers.
The sides have met once already this season, which resulted in a 4-0 win for City at the Carlisle Grounds. Sean McLoughlin gave City the lead early on, but a tight game ensued until three goals in quick succession made the game safe for City.
At his weekly press conference, City manager John Caulfield spoke to the media saying: “We have had very few Friday night games at home, unfortunately, so hopefully we will have a massive crowd this Friday, and hopefully we will be able to get the three points. We have had fantastic home form so far. The crowds have been phenomenal, the atmosphere has been phenomenal…”
“Every team in this league can take points from each other and Bray have proven that. If you look at the results they have got, all of them have been against teams in the top six, so it just shows you. We know it is a huge game for us again on Friday; we are in a good position, but we need to start well. We know Bray will play on the counter and these games are always dangerous if you are not at your peak.”
“From now until the break, we have a good few games, and it is important that we are up near the top going into the break. It has been a funny league in the sense that a lot of teams have dropped points away from home. I think home form is going to be crucial this year, so if we can make Turner’s Cross a fortress and pick points up away from home, then you have a good chance.”
“We have kept nine clean sheets so far, which is excellent, despite the fact that we have had a relatively new back four. Obviously, we are looking to see can we score more goals, as we haven’t scored as many as we would like but, at the same time, we are in a fantastic position. For me, it is about keeping our performance levels high and continuing to improve, so we must keep that going.”
Goalkeeper Mark McNulty also reflected on the season so far, commenting: “If you look at the league table, the season looks like it is going well. Some of the performances haven’t been up to the standard we would have liked but, coming up to the break, if you had told us we would be there or thereabouts, we would be happy with that. We’re up there, so we are doing alright.”
“Bray struggled at the start of the season, but they have picked up recently. You look at the points they have picked up this season; it has been against Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers, Derry, Waterford… They know that if they can pick up three points, it will really help them because they are starting to catch the teams above them. They are coming down here, but we are the home team, we are the team pushing for trophies, so we have to go and take the game to them and hopefully get the three points.”
“Our home form has been brilliant. The Limerick game was the first time we conceded at home this season, so it shows how strong we have been, but for me, it’s easy to go out and play in front of 6,000 people when they are roaring you on. Even when things maybe weren’t going our way, they were still with us and they play a huge part for us.”