Cork City have nothing to fear from these European opponents so must go for glory

Cork City have nothing to fear from these European opponents so must go for glory
Mark O'Sullivan after last week's European disappointment. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

CAN Cork City defy odds and score more than two goals tonight against Progrès Niederkorn to secure that mouth watering clash against Scottish giants Rangers that we were all excited about?

A huge task no doubt to qualify for the next round, but let’s hope John Cotter’s side were hurt enough from last week’s awful performance, that they will come out fighting and be a totally different and better side tonight. They need to be.

Last Thursday’s performance was one of the worst performances in Cork City’s history, not just in Europe, but of all time, however as I said after last week’s game, they are still in with a chance of winning the second leg.

Progrès are not a great footballing team but they were made look very good by a terrible Cork City side. But if City apply themselves, work hard for the entire 90 minutes and get an early goal, there is enough in City to get three goals and stop them from scoring.

Scoring goals is the problem for City at the moment though. It’s been almost two months since City tasted a victory, which is very hard to take for all us fans, so why do I think City could turn things around tonight?

Well, as I said, there are so many incentives for the players wanting to perform tonight. Pride is one. I think they have let themselves down of late. Poor performance after poor performance from so many players.

As well as this, the attitude, heart and desire of the team is not acceptable. Cotter said after last week’s game that the lads are lacking confidence and you could see their heads drop after conceding the first goal.

Surely this is not acceptable? Surely something should be said or done from the dugout to ensure lads heads are not dropped.

As a manager, if my players dropped their heads so early in a game having conceded a goal, that’s giving up.

I wouldn’t accept it. In fact, I would whip them off the pitch, end of. It’s a team effort and I wouldn’t allow any egos.

For me that was the most disappointing factor of the first tie. I thought Progrès were there for the taking. City didn’t show interest, passion or desire and at times that can count for more than ability.

I genuinely don’t think this tie is beyond us if City play with a different team, better attitude, they might just get a lucky break.

There’s no doubt John Cotter has a huge job on his hands but I hope for the sake of the club he makes plenty of changes tonight. Also I hope he has the players fired up with belief, confidence and plenty of desire to go at Progrès from the start. They have absolutely nothing to lose but so much to gain.

The players need to have pride in the jersey because there still remains an opportunity to safeguard the future of the club. The tie against Rangers is vital for the future of the club in terms of the revenue it can bring in. City need to go down fighting and try to win the tie tonight.

I’ve already said this week about the changes Cotter could make. To be honest I would go with a 3-4-3 formation. Why not? We need to score goals and therefore why not overload in attack.

The back three need to be more solid and play more football. It’s frustrating watching long balls been kicked all evening. I hope that won’t be the case tonight.

In midfield, I would love to see some of the young lads feature. Alec Byrne for me is one that could really make a difference to the team. He is fit, great feet, superb in the tackle and is everything I like in a creative midfielder.

And whoever Cotter chooses to play up top, they need to gamble. Progrès’ defence weren’t great last week.

They may have been big but they didn’t have a lot of pace. Playing three pacy strikers up front would be a massive advantage, and thus, could get us that early goal, that would give us the drive to push on and win this tie.

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