TONIGHT is a final chance to stake a claim for FAI Cup final spots as Cork City wrap up their league season at home to Bray Wanderers on Friday night (7.45pm).
While second place in the Premier Division is guaranteed, City manager John Caulfield is expecting a good performance as players look to put forward their candidacy to start against Dundalk at Aviva Stadium on Sunday week. Apart from long-term injury victims John Dunleavy and Colm Horgan, the Rebel Army are hopeful that the likes of Steven Beattie and Karl Sheppard will have recovered from hamstring injuries.
“We are looking forward to our last home game of the season, with the FAI Cup final to come the following week,” Caulfield says.
“It’s an opportunity for the supporters to turn out and wish the players well ahead of the cup final, and the players will do a lap of honour at the end of the game to thank the fans for their support all season. It is nice for the players to have the opportunity to show their appreciation for the wonderful support we have had as well.
“Over the last few weeks, we have been winning games and keeping clean sheets. The competition for places is good, we have had good intensity and we have had some very good performances over the last month or so, and we want to continue that.”
While Bray are playing their last Premier Division game for until at least 2020, Caulfield isn’t expecting an easy game from the relegated Seagulls.
“Bray are rebuilding for next year, and they had a fantastic win during the week,” he says.
“When Bray are on form, they are a very sticky team to play against and I am sure they will relish the opportunity of coming down to Turner’s Cross.
“Gary [Cronin] was saying during the week that he was relieved that they had got that first win and that, in the dressing room afterwards, there was a buzz and a confidence. They are coming down here, last game of the season, with nothing to lose and everything to play for.
“A lot of their players have played a lot of games at this level. They have had internal issues which have affected morale over the last couple of years, but Gary has come in with a positive attitude and he is building for next season.”