IN any game of football, you try to maximise your own strengths and attack the opponents’ weaknesses.
However, while the Echo doesn’t have too many readers in Dundalk, Cork City midfielder Gearóid Morrissey is loathe to give any trade secrets away ahead of Friday’s meeting between the league’s top two sides at Turner’s Cross (7.15pm).
“Well, I wouldn’t really like to say,” he says.
“We’ll be doing our work now throughout the week. Cotts [assistant manager John Cotter], the backroom team, everyone who’s involved – we’ll have meetings, we’ll discuss it, we’ll go through where we can expose them and what we think we can do and how we think we can best affect the game and go and score goals.
“I probably won’t say but we’ll definitely have a plan in place for Friday night.”
City and Dundalk have been the only teams in the top two spots for the past four seasons in a row as well as meeting in the last two FAI Cup finals and the pair are again looking down on everybody else.
With such a rivalry having developed, it means that there is little effort needed to get up for the game. His namesake may have sung Every Day Is Like Sunday, but for Morrissey it’s all about Friday.
“When you have an opposition coming up, you work all week to get ready and get going,” he says, “but I think with these games it’s automatic.
“We don’t have to think too much about it. It just happens. We know when we go into these games that we need to be at our best. It’s hugely anticipated from us. I can’t wait for it.
“Naturally in any league when the two best teams play, everybody needs to be on their game. When everybody’s on their game collectively, I think you come up a level, no matter what that level is. Playing Dundalk, the games in general I think are very good. They’re feisty, there’s a bit about them. There’s goals in those games.
“There’s everything you look for in a football, match I think. I think when the two best teams play each other, it definitely makes for the best watching.”
With the teams so evenly matched, the atmosphere generated by a raucous home support could be key, and Morrissey hopes to be able to plug into it.
“Playing in Turner’s Cross, we buzz off it,” he says.
“When you’re coming in, there’s queues outside the gate. I was going there as a young fella and now as a player, the buzz is great when you’re going into the ground. It’s very local. You go into the shop the day before the game and everybody’s onto you about it.
“You can’t really go anywhere without someone mentioning it. It consumes the city, especially that we’ve been at the top for the last few years. I think everybody’s interested.
“Turner’s Cross is special. You can play in Tallaght or you can play wherever, in any ground in the country. When Bohs play Rovers, it looks like a decent atmosphere but I don’t think it comes near Turner’s Cross when there’s a top-of-the-table clash and it’s sold out. The atmosphere is brilliant.”