CORK City coach Liam Kearney wants the Rebel Army to dig deep as they travel to take on Derry City at the Ryan McBride Brandywell tonight (7.45pm).
Eight-placed City are not yet assured of avoiding relegation, having drawn 0-0 with Finn Harps, who are ninth, last week, Conor McCormack missing a penalty. Kearney feels that City need to find a bit of confidence as they seek a first win under Neale Fenn.
“You look at the other night and you think that if the penalty goes in, everyone has that weight off their shoulders,” he said.
“We might have that confidence to create a little bit more. It’s new to us all, but when you are where you are in the table you’re feeling that pressure, whereas in the last few years it was pressure to win the league.
“It has been a tough year for everyone involved in the club and it hurts to see where we are in the table but we’re there and we have to dig this out and keep the club in the Premier Division.” Derry are in fourth and still hopeful of catching Bohemians.
“Derry are flying,” Kearney said, “they’ve had a great season, Declan has done a great job and it’s really seemed to galvanise the whole city.
“They play with a lot of good pace around the pitch so we know going up there that we’ll have to keep it tight at the start, we don’t want to concede early.
“As the game progresses then, we’ll try to feel our way into it and get at them at certain times.”
On the injury front, Ronan Hurley and Kevin O’Connor miss out but otherwise Fenn will have a full squad.
“Ronan had an ankle injury a while back and it’s his calf causing him problems,” Kearney said.
“He’s one who definitely won’t be available and Kevin as well, it’s a slow process, he has a nerve injury and he’s struggling.
“It was kind of an innocuous injury, we didn’t expect it to take so long to recover but it’s week by week, building the strength back in the arm.
“Other than that, there are a few niggles but we’d expect to have everyone else available.”
Ideally, Kearney is keen that he will be able to continue in his coaching role under Fenn next season.
“We’ve had chats about it,” he says.
“I love this club, I’ve been here for a long time and I’d love to be part of the backroom staff that can get the club back where it needs to be.”