CORK CITY manager Neale Fenn was left despondent with Saturday’s loss to SSE Airtricity League Premier Division leaders Shamrock Rovers but at the same time feels that the current landscape – with City second-from-bottom – cannot be ignored.
Rovers enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win with goals from Aaron Greene (two) and Neil Farrugia and Fenn knows that the Rebel Army are currently well off the pace of the top sides.
“I think we have to be realistic about where we are,” he said.
“We’re second-from-bottom in the league, we’ve got a lot of injuries, we’re playing players out of position.
“If you look at those facts, then what is the likely outcome? Obviously, we don’t go out to lose the games, we don’t go out to get beaten but that’s the reality of it.
“Shamrock Rovers can name the same starting 11 every single week, albeit they do change one or two positions. We haven’t been able to do that – four of our starting 11 from the game against Sligo, which was the best performance of the season, were unavailable to us on Saturday.
“We have to be realistic about it. We’re playing players out of position and we’re playing U19s in the team – and that’s not being disrespectful to them, Jake did quite well and Ricardo has done well when he’s come on – but that’s the reality of where we’re at.
“Do we accept that we’re going to lose games? We have to now. It’s hard for Cork City to get their head around that, especially at Turner’s Cross. That’s why we didn’t want to sit back and it’s why we wanted to press them, but maybe the reality is that we’re down there for a reason.
“At the moment, we’re not good enough to compete with the likes of Shamrock Rovers and we’re building but it’s hard, it’s a tough reality for people.”
Rovers dominated from the off, with City unable to put them under the kind of pressure that Fenn had sought.
“The idea was that we were going to get after them,” he said.
“Up there in the cup, I felt we had a good shape in the first half. They have a big game on Thursday and we didn’t want to make it easy for them coming down here but it ended up probably being easier.
“We didn’t really press as a unit or as a team and they just played around us far too easily. I think it was too easy for them the whole game, there was maybe a ten-minute spell in the second half where they didn’t look like they were going to score.
“The rest of the time, they dominated us and it’s a lesson. All of their lads have played 200, 300, 400 games, some of our lads have barely played a handful.
“You’re going to get a lot of games like that in your career, it’s just that, at the moment, it’s not nice because we’re down the bottom and it’s on our time that they’re doing it.”
And any positives that can be taken ahead of the visit of Dundalk next Sunday evening?
“The positive we’d take from it is that we probably can’t play as bad as that,” Fenn said.
“It gave us a reality check, if we’re playing Dundalk next week we can’t be as bad as that or be as naïve as that.
“That’s the only positive we can take out of it. The rest of it was poor.”