CORK City manager John Caulfield believes that the chance for fringe players to impress will ensure an absence of complacency in tonight’s Munster Senior Cup final.
With City’s league game with Derry City postponed due to U21 international call-ups, the provincial decider against St Mary’s takes place at Turner’s Cross (7.30pm).
Having not rotated much in the league, Caulfield hopes that those given their chance tonight will impress and not take the Magpies for granted.
“I think it’s a mindset,” he says.
“I think, unfortunately, players read things in the paper and they assume that it’s going to be easy, that they’re better than they are.
“There’s no doubt that these guys have been told exactly what to expect and how the game will be and they have to go out and do the business.
“The plus for us at the moment is that we’re seven games into the league, we’re top of the table and all of the lads on the bench want to get into the first team and show how good they are.
“Obviously, if fellas go out against Mary’s and don’t play well or have the wrong attitude, they’re not going to challenge for the first team. I don’t see that, though. Everyone feels they should be in the first team and they want this occasion to show what they can do.
“But you never know. Complacency is the biggest cancer in the game, teams go out and assume that they don’t need to put the work in. You try to guard against it but you don’t know until the day.” The last time City retained the cup was in 2005, beating Caulfield’s Avondale United in the final. Having been in the other corner, he has an idea of what to expect from the Kilcully side.
“It was a brilliant final to get to,” he says, “because you want to see how your lads do.
“Some of them maybe think they’re good enough and the reality is that they’re not but at the same time it’s a day out, you’ve nothing to lose.
“St Mary’s haven’t a care in the world, it’s a beautiful game to have, there’ll probably be a big crowd there. From their point of view, they can throw caution to the wind and in these situations players tend to play above themselves.
“Back in 2005, we did well but City got two second-half goals. At the same time, they were a better team overall. There’s no pressure on Mary’s, we just have to make sure that we aren’t complacent and that we’re ready to go.”