MAINTAINING strong home form is imperative towards staying in the Premier Division title race, according to Cork City manager John Caulfield.
City go in search of an eighth straight home league victory tonight when bottom side Bray Wanderers visit Turner’s Cross (7.45pm).
With the ten-team top flight and resultant compact fixtures schedule, results have been topsy-turvy for everyone. Seven home games so far have yielded a maximum 21 points for City, with 14 from nine away fixtures.
“If you look at all the results from every team, it’s much tighter,” Caulfield says.
“The gap has closed, it has been a funny league in that a lot of teams have dropped points away from home.
“We went through a lot of changes across the back and our team hasn’t been as settled as we would have liked and that might caused one or two of the away results but we’ve still won four away and drew with Derry last week, we could have won it, they could have won it.
“That’s the way the league is going to be and I think home form is crucial because teams are taking results off each other.
“If we can make Turner’s Cross a fortress, then if we’re picking up points away from home, we’ve a right good chance.
“Our home form to date has been good but we need to keep that up.”
Caulfield has also confirmed that teenage striker Michael Howard, on-loan from Preston North End, will return to England on June 10. However, French forward Achille Campion and full-back John Kavanagh could be part of City’s plans in the second half of the season when their respective loan spells with Linfield and Waterford expire.