Cork City boss believes all League of Ireland fixtures should be on weekends

Cork City boss believes all League of Ireland fixtures should be on weekends
Cork's Sean McLaughlin and Patrick Hoban of Dundalk. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

CORK CITY manager John Caulfield doesn’t feel that a poor run of form makes Shamrock Rovers any less of an intimidating proposition.

Having beaten Dundalk on Friday night, City go to Tallaght Stadium to take on the Hoops (8pm), with the home side having not recorded any win in April.

Asked if he has sympathy for opposite number Stephen Bradley, Caulfield made the point that pressures exist at all clubs.

“Every manager is under pressure, that’s just the way it is,” he said.

“We’re the biggest club, with the biggest support, in the country; Rovers, historically, have been the biggest club because they’ve won more trophies, so there’s always massive pressure.

“At the same time, Stephen has a tremendous squad. You go through a bit of a blip – to be fair to Rovers, we’ve watched a lot of their games, they were desperately unlucky against Dundalk, they probably deserved a draw, on Friday against Derry, they missed a lot of chances.

“It’s just one of those situations, the team Rovers had at the start of the season, that was going to challenge for the league, is still there. They still have the top players, Greg Bolger, Ronan Finn, Graham Burke, these are all exciting players.

“You lose a couple of games and confidence can dip a bit but I’m sure Shamrock Rovers are relishing us coming up tomorrow after winning the other night. We would expect they would see this as a massive opportunity but we have to focus on ourselves and on giving a high level of performance like we have done for the last couple of weeks.” 

It’s a fourth Monday league game for City, with only one of the previous three – at home to Bohemians – having been a re-arranged fixture. 

Caulfield believes that the increase from 33 Premier Division games to 36 could have been handled in a more balanced fashion.

“I think everyone would hope for a bit more common sense, in the sense of the league being extended for a couple of weeks,” he said.

“Also, in August and September, the FAI Cup is every second week, a team that gets knocked out is going to end up with a number of weekends with no matches.

“Maybe moving the earlier rounds of the cup to midweek, keeping your league fixtures all at weekends unless there’s a postponement, I think that’s the way to look at things.

“Certainly, there are ideas out there but if you don’t sit around a table and discuss them, they’re not going to be implemented.

“We need to sit down and managers’ and clubs’ views need to be taken into account and discussed. 

"The 36-game league is grand, there’s no problem with that, it just needs to be managed in a different way.”

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