CORK City manager John Caulfield saw his side produce a Jekyll and Hyde performance in the President's Cup final but was happy to know that they were capable of turning a game around like they did.
City found it difficult as Dundalk over-ran them in the opening half, but a couple of changes helped to bring about a big difference in the second period, turning a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2.
“We were slow to start and Dundalk played well, in the first 20, 25 minutes it was difficult, we gave away sloppy goals,” Caulfield said.
“At half-time, we just had a few words to get back into the game.
“It was a nice game to have before the start of the league, when you’re in pre-season mode you’re not sure how you’re doing so when you go in at half-time unhappy with how you’ve done it’s good to be able to rectify that.”
Steven Beattie and Karl Sheppard came on at half-time for Colm Horgan and Jimmy Keohane respectively while Caulfield said that his instructions revolved around a commitment to doing the simple things correctly.
“We had to get back to working hard,” he said, “doing what we did well, moving the ball quicker and bringing a higher intensity.
“It was the first game and for a lot of the first half it seemed a friendly match, guys were standing off, but things were a lot better in the second half.
“It was just a case of going back to basics.”
Central in the comeback was winger Kieran Sadlier, who joined City from Sligo Rovers last year. Caulfield challenged him to put in displays like that on a regular basis.
“He came in midway through last season, he saw what it was like,” he said.
“You have a lot of pressure on you and you take a bit of stick if you don’t perform. The guy has phenomenal talent, he’s probably the most talented player in the league, his skill-levels are incredible, but he has to perform week in and week out.
“If he does that, he’ll be a brilliant player to watch. You can see how well he did, the crosses for McNamee and Cummins and the goal he took, but if you’re to have any chance of winning, these guys have to do it every week.
“That’s the test of any team. Sadlier will be a joy to watch if he does it consistently.”