TIME and games are running out for new manager Colin Healy’s Cork City side as they desperately seek a win to boost their bid for survival in the top tier of League of Ireland football.
On Friday, City travel to Dalymount Park to take on Bohs for what’s expected to be a very difficult tie for Healy.
With very little time to work on tactics with the squad, Healy will be hoping his powers of motivation are enough to see Cork produce a top-drawer performance.
The Gypsies currently sit second in the table with 30 points, eight behind league leaders Rovers. Last weekend City struggled badly against St Pat’s, losing 2-1 at home, while Bohs secured their third consecutive win away against Shels, winning 3-1.
There’s no doubt Keith Long’s side will be confident heading into the game against a struggling City side. However, meetings between these two have always been close.
More than ever, City need to bear that in mind and play with the same passion that the new manager will show and want from his team.
The last time they clashed, in August, Bohs were 1-0 winners. Andre Wright scored after just four minutes of play.
The defensive partnership that day of former Cork City player Dan Casey and Rob Cornwall was excellent and City struggled to break them down.
Will it be more of the same? The question is who will be City’s threat up top?
How many changes will Healy make? Will he play those players he knows best, the Cork lads, the U19s, only time will tell?
In City’s last few games we have seen players such as Kit Elliot, Conor Simpson and Scott Fenwick feature up top.
None of these guys have impressed. The only threat I have seen and the only two players really to bring excitement to the game have been Deshane Dalling and Ricardo Dinango.
Surely Dinanga is worth a gamble for a starting XI position? Healy will know his strengths well and he could figure.
The stats show how awful City have been in front of goal (eight this season) while conceding 22, as opposed to Bohs who have scored 18 and conceded just nine.
I had been saying all along that Fenn needed to find a team who are prepared to battle and who know the importance of staying up. That’s now Colin Healy’s job.
His other task will be to try to unite the squad. There has been a lot of hassle from within the squad this week and there are a lot of questions to be asked and answered.
On Tuesday we heard that Daire O’Connor had left the club.
For me, O’Connor’s departure has come at a strange time.
After starting in the last few league games it looked as if he was back in favour with Fenn. Was he given enough of a chance? I said in my analysis after the Pat’s game that Fenn seemed to blame O’Connor for City’s poor performance early in the game as he whipped him and Dylan McGlade off before the break.
However, it was two schoolboy defensive errors that I believe cost City dearly. I did think Fenn got the substitutions wrong, I did think that O’Connor and McGlade looked furious with the decision.
Is this why O’Connor has left? Who knows but that is all water under the bridge now. Everyone left must focus on the remaining games and winning games.
It’s a very tough ask for Healy and the team, but knowing Colin Healy and knowing what he will demand from the players, I am expecting a different performance from Cork.
Therefore I give them a great chance of getting a point.
Best of luck to Colin Healy. He is going to need it.