CORK City winger Dáire O’Connor is keen to rediscover his early-season form and break his scoring duck for the club.
City face Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds tomorrow night (7.45pm) before the mid-season break, having had last week off due to the Waterford game being postponed. Having suffered an injury against Bohemians in March, Wicklow native O’Connor wants to pick up momentum again, after a promising start to life at Turner’s Cross.
“I started well, then I had my injury and the team was doing badly at the time, it was tough to come back in again,” he says.
“I’m hoping, after the break, to get a run of games, get a few full 90 minutes in and get my first goal.
“I think that’s long overdue at this stage, but it’s just felt a bit stop-start. The first round of fixtures went relatively well, personally, but the second one was tougher between the injuries and just getting back now, not having a game last week and then going into a break now.
“It’s frustrating in that sense because a lot of players rely on momentum. If you’re going well, you want to keep going and if you have one bad blip, it’s grand, you get on with, you should have a game the following week but that hasn’t been the case.”
After a spell out it, it’s understandable for a player to be too eager to do well when they return and O’Connor found that too.
“You’d be in the stand watching games and you’d be frustrated – ‘I’d be doing this,’ or ‘I’d be doing that,’” he says.
“Once you’re on the pitch when you come back, you get a rush of blood, you’ve all these ideas built up in your head and it can get frustrating if they don’t come off.
“You ask anyone, when you are out it’s tough, you are on your own, you’re doing extra runs after the session or you can’t partake fully, which was the case with me because of my shoulder, I was doing non-contact stuff.
“There’s no excuse, everyone gets injured, Griff [Shane Griffin] got the same injury as me last week and we’ve had different lads out. When you do come back in, you want momentum and two or three weeks in a row to build up confidence. After the break, hopefully I’ll push on from there.”
That the shoulder injury came in City’s 2-0 win over Bohemians, when form looking to be turning, added to the self-pity, but O’Connor is ready to help an upward surge now.
“As soon as you get injured, your first reaction is to be down in the dumps,” he says.
“Then you go in and you analyse it, you set a target and mine was to be back within four-to-six weeks and I did that.
“It is frustrating when the team isn’t doing well, but I think once we win two games in a row we’ll push on and build confidence.
“I think everyone would agree that that has been frustrating.”