CORK City boss John Caulfield says he is under no illusions of what to expect in tonight’s Munster derby with Limerick at the Markets Field.
The champions-elect are edging closer to the title, and could secure it this evening, live on RTE2, should they win and Dundalk lose to Drogheda. The great rivals meet on Monday night in Turner's Cross in another crucial clash that is being televised.
Having had no fixture last weekend due to the EA Sports Cup final, City’s last outing was a 4-1 win at Longford Town in the FAI Cup, a result that has seen them drawn to face tonight’s opponents in the semi-finals in Cork this night week. Caulfield is far from complacent, even if his team were convincing winners in the last Munster derby.
“All of the teams in the bottom half of the table are fighting for their lives," said Caulfield. "Neil (McDonald) has come in and has put his own stamp on the team; we face them again in the FAI Cup semi-final and they had a fantastic win over Galway in the last round of the competition.
"Last week they drew away to Bray, so we are under no illusions that they are on a good run of form and it will be a difficult tie for us,” said Caulfield ahead of the big game.
“Limerick have some very talented players in the likes of Shane Duggan, Lee J Lynch, Tosi and Chiedozie Ogbene, but, at the same time, we have been working hard too. We had a great win away to Longford and we know that we will have to play at our maximum; we know if we do that, we will have an opportunity to win tonight,” he added.
“It’s a Munster derby and we are at the stage in the season where you have to be at 100% to get results, we are well aware of that. At this stage, every team has something to play for, which is brilliant, so it means that every game is so important. As I always say, there are no easy games in this league anymore and going to Limerick will be a tough game for us."
Caulfield hopes to have Alan Bennett, Steven Beattie and Garry Buckley back in the squad tonight.
Club skipper Johnny Dunleavy and young midfielder Alec Byrne are long-term absentees.