TOMORROW’S game between Cork City and Waterford in Turner’s Cross (5pm) is one of the biggest Munster derbies in the club’s history.
City currently sit bottom of the league table on nine points from 14 games and with only three games remaining, Waterford, then away to Sligo and home to Derry, a win is a must.
The last time the sides met back in August, it was a scoreless draw, but there was still plenty of bite. Last year Waterford beat City with a late goal at the Cross.
The Blues will come into the game full of confidence against a struggling City side.
City played on Tuesday night against Dundalk and there was a huge improvement from recent outings. It was Colin Healy’s first home game in charge and although they suffered a 2-0 defeat, there were a few positives to take.
It was refreshing to see that Healy wasn’t afraid to make changes to his starting XI, five from the team that lost to Bohs five days earlier.
He stuck to his word going for lads that give 100% and on the basis of form at training sessions. This looked very evident against Dundalk, as City were well organised, very committed and worked as a team. Obviously it was disappointing not to get anything from the game but to be fair the game-plan worked for over 70 minutes.
They ran out of steam, despite sitting deep.
That approach means the opposition will spend the majority of the game in your half and although City contained them for the most part, Patrick Hoban’s two strikes were enough to deflate the entire team for the remaining 15 minutes.
Overall though, it was an encouraging effort. They showed great shape throughout, even though it was difficult for Deshane Dalling as the lone striker.
He’s an excellent player who I imagine would be a legend in any of the previously successful City teams, but at the moment, with the lack of support up top, it is difficult to get his true worth.
Tuesday’s game against Dundalk was probably the first time all season that the team actually looked like they were playing as a unit. They were solid enough in defence and the midfield trio of Gearoid Morrissey, Cian Coleman and Henry Ochieng got on the ball a lot more and what was great to see is that they pressed higher up the pitch, each time with aggression in the tackle.
They physically matched Dundalk and that is what we need to see tomorrow against Waterford.
I expect Healy will go with a similar team he started with against Dundalk. However, I would like to see more of Alec Byrne and maybe Cory Galvin.
Although City need to defend well, so I expect a defensive side starting, a draw isn’t enough. Therefore City need to be an attacking force as and I believe Byrne and Galvin can fill those roles as both have excellent engines and can attack and defend.
Let’s hope Healy can get his first win tomorrow.