Cork City can't afford another slow start in Dundalk

Cork City can't afford another slow start in Dundalk
Cork City's Aaron Barry heads clear from UCC's James Sheehan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THE last time Cork City faced Dundalk was in February’s President’s Cup, when a 2-0 half-time deficit was turned into a 4-2 win by the end.

That game was centre-back Aaron Barry’s first competitive outing in a City shirt and he believes that the fightback will have sown a few seeds of doubt in Dundalk minds ahead of tomorrow night’s Premier Division clash at Oriel Park.

“I think it’s only human,” he says, “if a team puts four past you in one half, how is that not going to be on your mind?

“Hopefully it is and hopefully we can do it again.”

The change in the weather during the President’s Cup – snow in the first half and sun in the second period – was just as dramatic as the turnaround on the scoreboard. Barry acknowledges that it was quite unusual in the dressing room at half-time.

“It was a weird one, we hadn’t really got going,” he says.

“The weather was crazy that day, you couldn’t lift your head at times. We came in and we weren’t that tired or anything, we knew we just hadn’t put our stamp on the game yet.

“Once the conditions settled down and we came out with a tempo that they just couldn’t live with, that was more or less it.

“If we play on Friday like we did in the second half of the President’s Cup, it’ll be very tough for them.

“We need to come out of the blocks sharp like we did against Sligo.”

One thing which might be in Dundalk’s favour is the artificial surface at Oriel, which Barry admits is not his favourite pitch.

“I’m not a big fan, to be honest,” he said, “but it’s alright if you’re only doing it three or four times a year.

“I’m not too sure how they do it every week, it doesn’t agree with some people’s bodies and long term I don’t think it’s great for you.

“When there’s a bit of rain, it’s quite smooth and you can play quick, attacking football, which they do, to be fair.

“We’re a good attacking team this year so hopefully it can happen for us on Friday.”

Having spent four seasons at Derry City, Wicklow native Barry didn’t have any hestitation in opting to move south once John Caulfield made him aware that he was part of his plans.

“Yeah, definitely,” he says.

“Once John made contact, I was happy to hear it and once I spoke to him I was sold straightaway.

“My mind was made up, I didn’t even listen to anything else, I just really wanted to get down here.”

Another arrival from the Candystripes was attacking midfielder Barry McNamee. Barry says that it was a help to move at the same time, but he wouldn’t have been afraid to fly solo either.

“To be honest, I’m a man, I don’t think it would have been difficult anyway,” he says.

“I’ve played alongside Barry and I know the quality he brings to the side as well. Obviously, we’re living together, I suppose it has helped a little bit, but whether he came or didn’t come, it would have been the same for me, I think.”


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