CORK CITY manager Neale Fenn expects his team to channel the pain from their last visit to Tallaght Stadium when the Rebel Army take on Shamrock Rovers in the FAI Cup next week.
City travel to Dublin next Monday evening, seeking a place in the quarter-finals of the cup but having to go up against the competition holders and current SSE Airtricity League Premier Division leaders.
Back in February, City lost 6-0 to Stephen Bradley’s side and the memory of that setback will hopefully ensure that a repeat is avoided, in Fenn’s eyes.
“I think a few of the boys were hurt after that,” he said.
“That was a very tough night, the first time that a lot of them would have experienced something like that.
“They’re determined that it wouldn’t happen again, but it’ll be difficult as Rovers have a very good home record.
“We have to make sure that what happened earlier in the season doesn’t happen again and the boys will be keen to put that right.”
It will be a case of top against bottom after City’s 3-1 loss to Derry City at the Ryan McBride Brandywell on Friday evening.
They are level on points with Finn Harps, who beat Waterford on Sunday and, having been eighth following the win over Sligo Rovers the previous week, Fenn is aware of how quickly things can change.
“When we got the win against Sligo, we were stressing to everybody not to get carried away,” he said.
“It’s such a short season and points mean everything at this stage. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get any points against Derry.
“We try not to look at the table but everybody does and I’m guilty of doing it myself. The important thing is that we keep our heads up keep trying to get wins.
“We thought we were on the right track, gaining a bit of momentum, even goals at this stage are quite crucial so to concede the third with the last kick of the game was bitterly disappointing.
“We’ve got a break now with no league game for a couple of weeks so we’re just focused on getting the lads back fit.”
The defeat to the Candystripes came after City had gone ahead, with Joseph Olowu scoring the club’s first away league goal in over a year.
“It was disappointing,” Fenn said.
“We knew that, when we went 1-0 up, Derry would throw everything at us but we defended well, especially in the first half, in difficult conditions.
“The message at half-time was to try to weather the storm for the next ten or 15 minutes. We knew that they would come at us again and we felt that if we could weather that, they’d leave themselves a bit more open and we’d have more joy.
“Unfortunately, we conceded two poor goals from our point of view. We tried to have a go at them then to get an equaliser but they hit us on the break at the end.
“Coming so quickly after half-time, the first goal rejuvenated them.
“Then they got the second one and we started to play and created a few chances but we couldn’t put the ball in the net.”
While Kit Elliott was out injured, Connor Simpson made his debut up front alongside Scott Fenwick and Fenn was encouraged.
“I thought they played well,” he said.
“In the first half, it was a little bit backs to the wall. There was a strong wind and we were protecting a lead so they didn’t really have much joy going forward.
“I thought, in the second half, when we started to attack a little bit more, the two boys did well and they’ll get better.
“They haven’t played in months, really, so they’re a little bit behind fitness-wise but I thought that they acquitted themselves well.”
On the flipside, there was at least the return of captain Gearóid Morrissey for his first action since March.
“He came back in and looked really sharp, so that’s a positive sign,” Fenn said.
“Hopefully, a few of the boys will be making their way back from injury so that we have a few more available for Rovers.
“The few that are struggling with niggles, we have to try to get them patched up and hopefully go there with a full squad.”