Fenn: Cork City's young players can rise above the criticism and avoid the drop

Fenn: Cork City's young players can rise above the criticism and avoid the drop
Cork City's Dylan McGlade reacts to a missed chance away to Waterford on Saturday afternoon. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

CORK City manager Neale Fenn felt that his team had improved on their defeat to Bohemians last week, with the result providing more of a platform to work from.

“They’re little things to build on,” he said.

“A clean sheet, a first away point – you’ll take anything when you are where we are.

“I thought we played well today in patches and dominated parts of the game and looked comfortable.
“There’s plenty to build on.”

The switch to a 3-4-2-1 wasn’t necessarily based on a need to provide more defensive solidity, but rather a result of the available personnel and how best to utilise them. Injuries to the two players playing off centre-forward Cian Murphy – Dáire O’Connor and Cory Galvin – mean that he will have to reshuffle his pack for tomorrow night’s FAI Cup clash with Longford Town.

“We felt that, after the Bohs game, we were fine defensively,” Fenn said.

“We didn’t think we had much to worry about there. Obviously, going forward, Deshane was out so we felt we didn’t have a player on that wing that could play there, so the best option was to play Cory and Dáire inside and that was working well for a while until they got injured.

“When the luck isn’t going your way, these things happen but that’s football, we’re not going to complain about things like that. We’re just going to have to get on with it and the boys that play on Tuesday are going to have to be ready.”

Waterford's Michael O'Connor and Kevin O'Connor of Cork City battle for the ball. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Waterford's Michael O'Connor and Kevin O'Connor of Cork City battle for the ball. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Prior to the game, City chairman Declan Carey had issued a call for supporters to back rather than criticise players on social media. Fenn accepts that playing for City will always bring expectation but felt that Saturday’s result and more like it will change the reactions players face.

“It depends on what kind of character you are,” he said.

“Some of the lads are very young, I don’t want to sound like David O’Leary here but they’re young players and they’re just not used to this.

“They’ve never had this before and they’re getting criticised. It’s because you’re at the biggest club in the country and you’re under the most scrutiny and you’re playing for a team that’s had massive success over the last few years.

“You’re going to get it, whether you like it or not. It’s going to happen because the fans are demanding and they want to win, it was the same when I was here. I’ve told the boys that the only way they can respond is by performances on the pitch.

“Not even wins – I’m sure that there were fans watching today who’ll realise that they gave it everything today, even if we’re lacking in one or two areas.

“I’m sure that that’s all the fans want. If we can win on top of that, great, but if you put in performances where the lads have run their socks off and defended well, got forward a good bit more than last week, I think the fans will be alright.”

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