CORK City manager John Caulfield accepts that fans may be frustrated with a recent drop in league performances, but he is expecting a response in Friday's FAI Cup quarter-final.
City will look to take the first of three steps towards a third straight cup victory as they travel to take on Longford Town at the City Calling Stadium (7.30pm), having lost at home to Sligo Rovers last week, their first home league loss in more than a year.
That result left City six points behind Dundalk with six games left in the Premier Division and while that situation has drawn criticism, Caulfield accepts that it comes with the territory of challenging for silverware.
“Where would you want to be, at the end of the day?” he says.
“When we took over the club, we were down around sixth in the league and weren’t competing, the crowds were down around a thousand people, we weren’t getting a huge amount of media coverage.
“It shows you how we’ve come, we wanted to bring the passion back to the club, bring the crowds back in and compete for trophies.
“We’ve always said that we wanted to be in Europe every year as a minimum requirement. We had to work within a very strict budget, but since we’ve come in we’ve paid off the debt we inherited and made money every year.
“We sold a number of players and in five years we’ve been in Europe every year, we’ve won a double.
“We want every year to be at the top and competing but sometimes supporters get frustrated. We’ve come a long way and we’re doing great but when your team evolves every year, you have to stand up and be counted.
“Are we good enough to win the league? We don’t know, we’ll see at the end of the season but we’re there or thereabouts.
“We all work incredibly hard and passionately for the club. I understand the people can get frustrated, but sometimes it’s over the top, because of what’s been achieved.”
Longford are managed by former City striker Neale Fenn and come in off the back of five straight wins.
“Longford are absolutely flying,” Caulfield said.
“Neale has done a great job, he has brought in some very good players and they’re on an excellent run. We’ll need to be at our best to beat them.”