CORK City go in search of their first league win in seven weeks as Stephen O’Donnell’s St Patrick’s Athletic side visit Turner’s Cross on Saturday at 5pm.
With just six games remaining in the league season, Neale Fenn’s side remain bottom of the Premier Division table, a point behind Finn Harps, with whom they drew at Ballybofey last Sunday evening.
Ahead of the trip to Finn Park, Fenn was reluctant to characterise it as ‘must-win’ and he doesn’t want to get caught in applying such a tag.
“We’re just taking each game as it comes,” he said, “I’m not going to say any game is must-win.
“The teams around us are dropping points also — the draw on Sunday puts us a point closer to Shels, with a game in hand. We want to do our best against Pat’s and if we can win the game, great.
“We’re determined to get out of the situation we’re in. Everybody knows that we have to start picking up points and the boys are all aboard in trying to do that.
“Every game is going to be tough, there’s no point me saying that there are going to be any easy games.
“We’re certainly going into each game individually, trying to win each one and do our best.
“We’re not pinpointing any games as, ‘Oh, we can pick up three points here,’ or whatever, it’s just every game, we’re trying to win.”
Pat’s lie sixth in the table, seven points ahead of City, having beaten Shelbourne 2-0 last Saturday, ending a run of six games without a goal.
“They’ve a really good defensive record, only Bohs and Rovers are better, so they’re really tight at the back,” Fenn said.
“They’ve struggled to score goals before the weekend but then won 2-0, so it’ll be a very tough game for us.
“Every game at the moment is tight, there’s not a lot between the teams down there, so we’re expecting the same.”
That was the case last Sunday, though on reflection Fenn felt that City should have made the most of taking the lead against Harps.
That said, he feels that the perception of that result won’t be clear until after the next few games.
“At the time, I felt it was quite an even game,” he said. “Having looked back and seen our chances and the fact that ‘Nults’ didn’t really have a save to make during the game, it’s probably two points dropped.
“It’s only in the next few games that we’ll see if it was a good point or not. It’s certainly not a terrible result, going up to Finn Harps and getting a draw, it’s not a catastrophe.
“Time will tell but, having looked back, it does feel like two dropped.”
Henry Ochieng, who was suspended for the Harps game, is back in Fenn’s plans and the manager is looking forward to a rare selection headache.
“It’s another body available to us and Uniss [Kargbo] will be available, too,” he said.
“They’re good options for us ahead of the last few games.
“It’s definitely better to have selection headaches, deciding who to have to leave out rather than finding players to put in.”
Kargbo will be an option at right-back, but Dale Holland has done well there of late.
“He did fantastic,” Fenn said. “He’s not a right-back and we’re asking him to fill in in that position and he’s done really well.
“He has no fear, he’s not scared of anything, his fitness levels are getting better every week. He’s done well and it’s a credit to him how well he’s equipped himself.”