Keeping it tight at the back will be crucial as City host UCD

Keeping it tight at the back will be crucial as City host UCD
Gary Comerford of Cork City in action against Kevin Devaney of Bohemians. Picture: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

CORK City interim manager John Cotter is looking for a continuation of the club’s defensive meanness as he has his first home game in charge against UCD at Turner’s Cross tonight (7.45pm).

Cotter, who took over in the wake of John Caulfield’s departure last week, guided to a 1-0 win away to Bohemians in his first game, only the club’s fourth league clean sheet this season.

After going through a spell where late concessions proved costly, Cotter wans to see more of the solid defending which has characterised the club’s success of recent times.

“There were a few games like that,” he says, “Pat’s at home, UCD and Finn Harps last week, where we dropped points from leading positions.

“It was something we were always brilliant at, seeing out games and I thought we were back to that on Friday night.

“I don’t think we ever looked like conceding, their shape was good and I thought they created very little.

“That was pleasing, a clean sheet is massive and it gives everyone major confidence ahead of this week, which is a huge part of it.” 

Karl Sheppard, Gearóid Morrissey, Graham Cummins and teenager Darragh Crowley – who signed his first professional contract during the week – are all rated as injury doubts while Shane Griffin is suspended after picking up a fifth yellow card.

UCD are six points behind City in ninth place but won 2-1 when the sides met in Belfield last month. Cotter is well aware that the Students can’t be taken for granted.

“We need to build on it but last Friday night is gone,” he says.

“It was a great result, great performance but as soon as we came in this week all the focus was on UCD.

“We’ve done our homework on how we want to play against them. We’re under no illusions that it’s a tough game again and we need to be at our best to win again and hopefully get up the table as quickly as possible.”

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