CORK CITY goalkeeper Mark McNulty will make his 146th consecutive appearance for the club against Bohemians at Dalymount Park on Friday night where a win will land the league title for the Leesiders for the first time in over a decade.
And speaking on behalf of the players, McNulty said the team as a collective unit want to wrap up the championship as soon as possible.
“As players we just want to get the job done on Friday night and even though it’s away from home, we have to go for it. We need two points from four games but the quicker we can do it the better for everyone and then we can put all our energy into the Cup final.
“A win against Bohs this weekend will do it. If we draw, then we have a home game with Derry City on the Monday night, and a win or a draw there will do the job.
Bohs away will be a tough ask and even though they beat us at Turner’s Cross we all felt they were lucky that night to get a penalty to go on and win the game. It was a rare home defeat for us and we’d like to put the record straight at the weekend.
“I am hoping we get a big support again at Dalymount Park because that will be a big help to us and who knows we might win the title in Dublin just like happened at Tolka Park when we won the First Division and we were promoted as champions,” he said.
If McNulty plays in the four remaining fixtures against Bohs (a), Derry (h), St Pat’s (a) and Bray Wanderers at home on October 27 he will have made 149 consecutive league appearances by the end of the season.
“It will leave me one short of the 150 milestone but there’s always next year,” he added.
City have Steven Beattie suspended on five yellow cards for Friday’s possible title decider in the capital while Keith Long’s side have midfielder Keith Ward suspended after his red card in the 1-0 away defeat to Sligo Rovers but Paddy Kavanagh is back from a match ban and set to play against the league leaders.
Bohs will bank on Shane Supple, Rob Cornwall, Derek Pender, George Poynton, Faud Sule and a front two of Dinny Corcoran and Ismahil Akinade to delay City’s coronation for another few days.
“I suppose it would be better for the fans if we were to win it at home at Tuner’s Cross on the Monday night against Derry, just like 2005, but we can’t let that influence the mindset going into the Bohs’ game.
"These are exciting times for the club and we are within touching distance of it now. It’s been dragging on for a few weeks with the FAI Cup fixtures in between league games but we want to win it as soon as we can to be honest,” he added.
“We are treating it as a regular game and preparing as normal and it’s just a matter of time at this stage. We are still eight points clear of Dundalk at the top with a game in hand and we have to maintain our focus with a first ever double a possibility for this squad,” he added.
Cork’s remaining league games are:
Friday night v Bohs (a);
Monday, Oct 16 v Derry City (h)
Friday, Oct 20 v St Pat’s Ath (a)
Friday, Oct 27 v Bray Wanderers (h)