CORK CITY assistant manager John Cotter doesn’t believe that the experiment of a three-man defence has been abandoned just because the club reverted to a conventional four-man defence for last Saturday’s President’s Cup defeat to Dundalk.
During pre-season, John Caulfield’s side have played a 3-5-2 but since the 3-1 friendly loss to Longford Town they have reverted to a 4-2-3-1 against Cobh Ramblers in the Munster Senior Cup semi-final and then Saturday’s clash, a 2-1 loss at Turner’s Cross.
However, ahead of tomorrow’s Premier Division opener against St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park, Cotter isn’t ruling out further changes in system.
“No, it could be two at the back on Friday, so who know?!” he laughed.
“It’s a good option to have, it’s something we would have worked on and I’ve no doubt other teams would do the same.
“You try to come up with different systems and we’d have worked on different systems outside of those two. We’d always gauge who we’re playing at the weekend and what players are available to see what would suit.
“It’s good to have the options.”
With Gearóid Morrissey, Kevin O’Connor and Karl Sheppard carrying knocks along with Conor McCarthy suffering from a hamstring injury, Cotter says that team selection for Friday is up in the air.
“A lot will depend on the lads who are struggling at the minute,” he says.
“Everyone’s training well and they have been since we came back. We were off on Wednesday and back in on Thursday, so it’ll depend on who’s available.
“Everyone’s chomping at the bit to get back in and you can understand why, we’ve brought in a lot of good players and we’ve no doubt they’ll do the job that’s asked of them.”
St Pat’s, under new manager Harry Kenny, have recruited strongly, with Chris Forrester re-signing and Sligo pair Rhys McCabe and Mikey Drennan back at Richmond Park.
A positive start will be required from the Rebel Army.
“We didn’t start well against Dundalk, as everyone knows,” Cotter says.
“In the second half, we came out and played well. It’s always important to get a good start in the league to build momentum.
“We’ll be hoping for a good start, we’ve no doubt that we have to be ready and be at it because it’ll be tough up there.
“Pat’s have signed a lot of good players and they have a big squad, they should be expecting to be challenging with the players they have, no doubt Harry will do a good job there.
“First game of the season, you just don’t know, we won up there in the first game last season and if we had the same again, we’d take it.”