Derby day beckons once more for Cork City with the Rebel Army rearing to take on Waterford at Turners Cross (kick off 7:45). In a congested schedule before the break; City will be hoping to see it out in style, with the champions aiming to make it four wins on the bounce with the visit of third placed Waterford.
Having beaten Bray, Limerick and St. Patrick’s Athletic in the space of seven days, City come in on the back of a seven day rest for the side.
Speaking ahead of the clash, City boss John Caulfield was taking nothing for granted heading into tonight’s clash, singling out Waterford’s quality ahead of the game.
“Waterford had a rocky patch, but they seem to have got over that; they obviously hammered Derry last week, which was an impressive result. They have got players back from injury and suspension, so they will be at full strength.”
With this in mind, Caulfield urged for a full show at the hallowed turf this evening,
“Hopefully we will have a full house, and the crowd will be buzzing. Our home form has been smashing and this will be another huge game for us. Every week, as I keep saying, you have to be ready. It is a different type of game and a different challenge every week; we know Friday will be all-action, high intensity and both teams going for it. We hope, with a passionate home crowd behind us, that we can get the three points.”
Heading into a weekend that could see his side move back to the top of the table, Caulfield closed off by addressing Cork City’s mixed performances of late,
“It takes time for players coming in to understand what Cork City is all about; the pressure, the phenomenal media coverage. We are unique down here and no-one understands that other than the people who are from here. It does take time for a team to gel, but you can see we are creating more chances over the last three or four weeks and we feel we have got better. I felt, from early on, that the team would get better as the season went on, and that is why it was important to get to the break and be right up there.”
In team news, Alan Bennett, Gearóid Morrissey, Conor McCormack and Garry Buckley will be assessed ahead of the game while Johnny Dunleavy urges close to a return.
Following a mixed few weeks for Waterford, the Blues have emerged strong with last week’s 4-0 whitewash of Derry at the RSC. Now, reenergized and focused a third win of the season over their Munster rivals is on the cards as they hope to add to their previous league and league cup wins.
Speaking ahead of the match, first-team coach Paul Cashin, made no queries on the threat posed to his side traveling to the Cross this evening but was confident with the momentum from last week’s result to carry his side over.
“All the lads are looking forward to Friday’s match – they’ve been really focussed this week and training has been good. We’ve trained as we’d planned out with Alan, and we know it’ll be a tough test in Cork but it’s a test that we’ll relish
“We were delighted with the win over Derry City last Friday and with the manner of the performance, so we’ll be looking to carry that into Friday’s match in Turner’s Cross.”
The Blue will be without John Kavanagh and Garry Comerford whilst Paul Keegan is doubtful with a long term calf problem. Stanley Aborah will be missing through suspension and Sander Puri is on international duty with Estonia.
Referee: Robert Harvey.
This is the sides fifth meeting of the season in all competitions. Both sides share merit with one league win apiece and one cup win, with Waterford’s earlier League Cup win cancelling out City’s Munster Senior Cup win in February.
The side’s last met at Turners Cross in the second week of the season with City registering a 2-0 win at the Cross.
Waterford’s last win at Turners Cross was a 3-2 win in June 2011. Two players will be lining out from City from that First Division encounter, Graham Cummins (scorer of City’s second) and Mark McNulty.
Cork City FC 8/13 Draw 13/5 Waterford FC 4/1.
Cork City FC 2-1 Waterford FC.
Injured: Johnny Dunleavy.
Doubtful: Alan Bennett, Gearóid Morrissey, Conor McCormack and Garry Buckley
Injured: John Kavanagh and Garry Comerford
Doubtful: Paul Keegan.
Suspended: Stanley Aborah.