Caulfield will return to the sideline and freshen up City's starting line-up

Caulfield will return to the sideline and freshen up City's starting line-up
 City manager John Caulfield watches the Sligo game from a box at the back of the stand. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

CORK City manager John Caulfield is glad to be back in the dugout tonight but believes that his assistant John Cotter has what it takes to manage the club some day.

Caulfield served a one-game touchline ban for Monday’s 1-0 win over Sligo Rovers, but normal service resumes for tonight’s clash with Bohemians at Dalymount Park (8pm). 

While he admits that watching a game from the stand isn’t his preference, he had a lot of credit for the way Cotter deputised, with sub Jimmy Keohane scoring the winner.

“It’s not where I want to be!” Caulfield laughed.

“At the end of the day, John Cotter has been with me a long time, through my Avondale days, and I keep saying he’ll be a fantastic manager for this club in time, in my opinion.

“There were no worries, I suppose the only thing was that maybe at half-time and that, you’d like to get in.

“The most important thing was that John got the calls right, I had no doubt he would.” 

With an EA Sports Cup game away to Waterford on Monday night and then Dundalk at home next Friday, Caulfield is likely to make some changes, with the same 11 having started the wins over St Patrick’s Athletic and Sligo.

“Obviously, the two games have been tough,” he said, “conditions have been really heavy and that has taken its tool.

“We’re looking at a situation where we might freshen up tomorrow, so we’re just going to wait. Tuesday night was a tough game, we were in yesterday [Wednesday] and this morning [Thursday], so we’re just assessing guys at the moment.

“It’s a fairly new team, certainly a new back four but the other night, Mark [McNulty] didn’t really have a save to make. The lads have done well, when you keep clean sheets over a season you’ve a great chance of winning something.” 

Centre-back Alan Bennett, who hasn’t featured since the end of February, is close to a return, but Caulfield feels that tonight’s game may be too big an ask.

“He’s travelling with us, so we’ll see,” he said.

“Being honest, probably if the weather had been kinder, he’d have been back a bit earlier but unfortunately down here we’ve got the worst of it and the grounds are still quite heavy, it has been disappointing from that point of view.

“We would certainly have hoped that a couple of weeks ago the ground would have been firmer, but it hasn’t been that way. He’ll travel with us, where he’ll start, I’m not sure.

“I think Monday night might be better, and then another big game next Friday. We’ll decide about the league cup after tomorrow.”

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