WHILE John Cotter had taken charge of Cork City at Turner’s Cross before Friday night’s win over UCD, it was nevertheless a big occasion for him in his first home game as interim manager.
Goals from Karl Sheppard and Graham Cummins earned City a 2-0 win, following on from the 1-0 victory at Bohemians last week, giving Cotter a special memory.
“It was a proud moment for me, obviously,” he said.
“I would have come here with my dad, unfortunately he couldn’t be there to see it but it was a massive moment for me.
“Obviously, I’d done it before when John was suspended but it’s different now. We put in a great performance but it’s the players who deserve the credit, they’re the ones on the pitch, bursting their asses off.
“It’s all we can do, keep driving on and give these supporters something to shout about. I thought they were brilliant and hopefully next week we’ll have another big crowd there.”
Two wins from two under Cotter have moved City up to seventh place, but the boss isn’t keen on the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer-like “Cotts is at the wheel” refrain.
“I’m getting hammered in the dressing room for that so whoever’s responsible is going to pay!” he laughed.
“It’s great, the players deserve credit because they’re putting in savage effort. The work on Friday was the same as last week and hopefully they can build on that again for next week.
“We played very positively, we created a lot more chances from play, scoring from play is great. Getting a home win in front of the supporters was huge.
“That’s Cork City, it’s the Cork City I know since I was a kid.
“The intensity, the passion, the commitment, you have to have all of that. You have to be brave then when you get the ball, we can’t fault any of the lads.
“UCD hit the bar early in the second half but other than that I don’t think they created a chance. The shape we had was great and we looked dangerous on the counter-attack as well.”
Sheppard’s fifth-minute goal set City on their way, though they did have a lucky break as UCD defender Josh Collins had a shot off the crossbar early in the second half.
Cummins doubled the lead just after that and Cotter believes that confidence in the team is growing as an eight-game winless run is consigned to history.
“An early goal helps,” he said, “but I thought the boys showed a bit more confidence too.
“We were better with the ball than we were last week but that’s an ongoing thing that’ll improve with time.
“Confidence is huge in football. Shepp and Graham scoring is important for them and then two clean sheets, for Mark and the back four.
“We’ll take a lot of positives from it and do a bit more work next week and hopefully put in another good performance.”
Next up for City is a home clash next Friday against Dundalk, who moved back to the top of the table on Friday with a win away to Bohs. Does Cotter expect any absentees to return?
“Hopefully, Gearóid Morrissey,” he said.
“Shane Griffin was suspended tonight and Garry Buckley was sick, that’s an important thing too – we’ve had a load of players missing and those three would have played a big part in our success.
“That just shows that it’s not 11 players, it takes everyone to row in behind.
“You need everyone pulling together, it takes everyone to be ready and encouraging each other and that’s a huge factor.”
More in this section