FRIDAY: Airtricity League Premier Division: Derry City v Cork City, Ryan McBride Brandywell, 5.45pm.
AFTER a good week, Cork City will look to extend their unbeaten run to four games with a trip to Derry City.
Having drawn away to Waterford a fortnight ago, City followed that up with an FAI Cup victory over Longford Town and then last Friday’s 3-0 triumph over Sligo Rovers to move off the bottom of the table.
However, manager Neale Fenn is keen to look forward rather than resting on his laurels.
“It’s been a good week,” he says.
“I knew it was going to be tough so we had to be fixed in at times. I had to believe in what I believed in and, hopefully, now that we’ve got the couple of results we can build on it.
“Like I said, the job is nowhere near done. It’s a win at home to Sligo but we know that that work gets undone if we lose away to Derry.
“We just need to focus on what we’re doing and keep the work-rate high, keeping doing what we’re good and you never know what will happen.”
Last Friday saw successful debuts for attackers Scott Fenwick and Kit Elliott, the on-loan teenager from Huddersfield Town, who scored one goal and set up another for Deshane Dalling.
Ricardo Dinanga came off the bench to score, as he had done against Longford, and Fenn is enjoying the fact that he now has decisions to make in attack.
“It’s a good headache to have,” he says.
“We knew we were light up top and we tried our hardest to get someone in before the season started and before the window ended.
“We managed to do that eventually and we’re delighted to have some options. We have Cian Murphy, Ricardo, Scott, Connor [Simpson] and Kit. They’re good options and different types of options – pace, hold-up, running in behind, work-rate, it’s all there for us.”
At the same time, that doesn’t mean that City will necessarily go gung-ho against the Candystripes, who are a point above them.
“We went out probably a little bit too attacking at the start against Sligo and nearly got caught a couple of times,” Fenn says.
“Whether we’ll do the same thing against Derry, I’m not so sure. We know the way we wanted to play and what we needed to do, it was just trying to get the right players in and the pieces of the puzzle.
“We by no means have it sorted but we have a few more options now and different ways of mixing it up.”
Captain Gearóid Morrissey could be back in contention to start, having been a sub against Sligo.
“There are a few lads with niggles,” Fenn says.
“We’ve a few lads coming back – Gearóid is coming back now, he was obviously on the bench on Friday so he’s another option for us in midfield.
“Graham Cummins has got a groin injury and there are a few niggles but nothing to worry about too much.
“I hope I don’t have to make too many changes but we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Despite the earlier kick-off, City are travelling up today as Fenn seeks to find the optimal preparation time.
“Up there, it’s always a tough place to go,” he says.
“It’s a bit of a cliché but it’s true, the all-weather pitch is another factor, too. They’ve good attackers, they work hard, they put you under pressure.
“It’s going to be another very tough game but the boys know that, Declan Devine has done a good job there. We have to prepare well and worry about ourselves.
“It’s nothing to do with finance,” he says. "It’s to do with the best way of managing our time. I’ve travelled loads of different ways to Derry, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to do it.
“You can get up there too early and be hanging around all day, or you can go there on the day, break it up a couple of times, making sure the boys and refuelling and hydrating on the way up, and it shouldn’t be too bad.
“I’ve flown up there before and gone on trains, it’s just a difficult place to get to.”