ANOTHER home defeat for Cork City on Friday night, 4-2 to Sligo. Nothing new in that you may say but in fact, there were signs to remain positive.
I was delighted, not with the result of course, but with what Cork City tried to do and what Neal Fenn tried to implement after only a few days working with the players.
It was evident from start to finish that things are going to change and change radically for the players and fans at Cork City.
From now on, we’re going to see an exciting brand of football played by young, fast, mobile footballers. That’s what is to come, but for now, Fenn will have to deal with what he has. Some of those players aren’t up to the way he wants to play football but over time the manager will sort that out, either by making them better players or replacing them.
There were fantastic positives to take from the game. The two centre-halves never kicked a long ball all evening. Mark McNulty continuously played the ball out from the back, threw the ball out numerous times and didn’t kick a ball long until the final few minutes.
The players did everything at pace, less touches, more passing but unfortunately for now, they’re not fit enough to play that game.
They’re not used to playing that game and they made several schoolboy errors that cost them goals. However that aside, as that will be fixed I was thrilled with how Fenn set the team up to play. You can see exactly what he wants to do.
Playing players in their right positions and asking them to put in a good shift of passing and moving. After every mistake, he encouraged and even applauded them on trying to do the right thing. I would be hoping for more of the same tonight against Waterford.
It might seem tough for the fans as they want to see City play football, however when the players lose the ball, the fans are quick to abuse. You can’t have it both ways.
They’re going to have to go through short-term pain for long-term gain under Fenn because he will get them playing good football and he will bring in the right players eventually to do that.
I was impressed with the work-rate. It was just a pity that silly errors cost them the game however these errors I have no doubt will be knocked out of them sooner rather than later.
I did feel it was an enjoyable game to watch. Yes, City were caught out a few times however that was bound to happen as they are playing a completely different game of football to what they’re used to.
I would imagine he will go with the same side tonight apart from Conor McCarthy perhaps coming in for Alan Bennett.
Overall I was happy that Fenn stuck to his word. He did exactly what I thought he would do and what he said he would do and that was to encourage the players, get them to play with a smile and bring back their confidence.
It’s a completely different game of football to what we’ve witnessed in a long time. It will be tough for fans and players to get used to what Fenn wants them to do but I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome.