'It’s important for Cork City fans to get in in good time to create a big, hostile atmosphere...'

'It’s important for Cork City fans to get in in good time to create a big, hostile atmosphere...'
Cork manager John Caulfield. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

CORK CITY manager John Caulfield is hoping to make home advantage count in tonight’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash with Dundalk at Turner’s Cross (7.15pm, live on RTÉ2).

The sides go into the game level at the top of the table after 12 games following City’s win over Bohemians last week while Dundalk drew with Derry.

While he’s not classing it as a definitive turning-point in the title race, Caulfield is calling on the City fans to do their bit.

“We’re both level on points now,” he says. “I think after Friday night there are two-thirds of the season to go, we’re tight, Derry are right in it, Waterford and [Shamrock] Rovers are still there.

“From that point of view, either way, the winner on Friday night won’t have won the league by any means.

“The big thing for us is that we’re at home, we’ve put a good run together, we’re after having three consecutive clean sheets, three wins since the Waterford game and we want to try to carry that confidence into Friday night in front of our own fans.

“In a game like this, when it starts earlier, it’s important for people to get in in good time to create a big, hostile atmosphere.”

It will be the clubs’ third meeting of the season already, City having won the President’s Cup while Dundalk triumphed in the league, both of those games at Oriel Park. With five meetings in both 2016 and 2017, is it difficult to come up with new ways of testing the opposition?

“Both teams are changing,” Caulfield says.

“We’ve new personnel, they have some and obviously they have change their style slightly with Patrick Hoban coming in. He’s a big, strong striker, very good at holding the ball up and good in the air.

“At the same time, they know a lot about us, we know a lot about them, but what happens on a day like this, it comes down to someone losing their concentration, someone making a mistake.

“We saw over the last couple of seasons, games like that can hinge on decisions. We’re doing our work and looking at areas where we think we can score but, at the same time, we know that we need to defend really, really well and we need to work on that too.”

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