CORK City centre-back Joseph Olowu is relishing the prospect of going up against Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk over the next six days.
While City got their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division campaign off to a losing start at home to Shelbourne on Friday night, Olowu – on loan from Arsenal – isn’t cowed by the prospect of facing last year’s top two. City go to Tallaght Stadium on Friday and Oriel Park on Monday and he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“That’s the league we’re in, that’s the business we’re in,” he says.
“You can’t ask for the easy games, you can’t ask for an easy ride. If it comes like that, we have to deal with it, we have to roll with the punches.
“We’re all young, we all want to be involved in these games, you don’t just want easy games. We want Shamrock Rovers, we want Dundalk, we want to play those teams and show what we can do against the best.
“We’ve just got to knuckle down. The Shelbourne game is gone. We had very good bits in the game and we have to take those bits and then, the not-so-good bits, we have to work on them in training and improve on them.
“We need to look forward, it’s just about bouncing back. We have to believe there’s another game, there’s always another game and that’s the approach we have to take, especially with them being away as well.”
City were somewhat unfortunate to lose on Friday as Ciarán Kilduff scored a late winner for Shels. Prior to that, Olowu almost put City in front, heading just wide, and he believes that the City fans will have their faith repaid as the season goes on.
“I think it’s understandable that they’ll be disappointed,” he says.
“It’s the first game of the season, we’ve lost 1-0 at home, but the biggest thing for them is to remain behind the team.
“There’s a group of boys here and we want to play for the club, we want to come out here every single week and play for the badge and represent the club well.
“We’ll always be willing to give 100 percent and if the fans can see that and remain behind us, that’s going to be massive for us going forward.”
Used to playing U23 football for Arsenal, Olowu noticed more of an edge in terms of intensity on Friday and it’s something he’s looking forward to experiencing again.
“For me, the biggest thing that stands out is the fans,” he says.
“The atmosphere was mental. We’ve gone in after the warm-up and the stadium is rocking and you don’t get that with U23s.
“Everyone wanted it. We want to win, we need to win to show we can play football and compete with the big boys. At youth level, it’s not the same feel, but in first-team football you want to win for the club.
“As soon as I spoke to Neale and got an understanding and looked up the club, it was something that was very attractive to me.
“Like you saw on Friday, we really want to play football, which suits me perfectly.”