CENTRAL defenders remain in Cork City on Friday night's clash with Shamrock Rovers at Turner's Cross.
While Alan Bennett and Seán McLoughlin have returned to Dundalk and on Monday over Cobh Ramblers in the EA Sports Cup, manager John Caulfield revealed that they are not fit while Dan Casey, who missed the Dundalk loss, so it's a doubt.
"Alan Bennett is very tight at the moment, and Seán McLoughlin," he said.
"Neither of them is this morning and obviously Dáire O'Connor is still out for a number of weeks.
"Dan Casey as well, he'll make it, but the rest of the guys are okay and Monday night did them no harm." Rovers travel south with a seven-point lead at the top of the table , having played two more games than their rivals, while they are 12 ahead of city.
They have not won at Caulfield's tenure, however, with their last win in Cork coming in June 2013.
"I think, if you're going to win a league title, you need to come to the teams that can potentially challenge you and take results," Caulfield said.
"If you look over the years, you need to go to ground like Rovers and Dundalk and get results.
From Rovers' point of view, they've opened the gap, they'll be looking at it.
"At the same time, we've done a lot of work this season, some of the results have not gone as well as we would have liked to have an opportunity for us to bounce back.
"One thing about Rovers the last couple of years coming, especially last year, they played cagily and got a draw. This year, they're high-flying and scoring a lot of goals, they imagine they're taking this opportunity.
"We need to be at our best and we know that."