MARK McNULTY wants to get the European hangover out of the system with a home win over Galway United and take a step closer to the title at Turner’s Cross tomorrow night.
“I’m a bit surprised to see where they are in the league – third from bottom – because they have a lot of good players.
It was a very difficult game for us the last time we played them up in Galway in a 1-1 draw and they are still the only team to take points off us all season.
They will come to Cork tomorrow night looking to knock us and they had a great result last week at home to Drogheda.
“Five or six more wins will win us the league title and we still have a lot to play for on three fronts and in the various Cup competitions too.
It’s all very well to be playing abroad in Estonia and Cyprus and it’s great to see those countries and other stadia but the League of Ireland is our league and the championship we can win for the first time in 12 years and that’s history in itself,” said McNulty when he met the media at Bishopstown.
“It was a real hard game for us away to Galway and they will come down and set up defensively and play on the break. It will be another tough game, but the most important thing to us, is the three points and it will be the same against Bohs’ here on Monday night and then away to Drogheda on tomorrow night week.
“This is a home game we want to tick off, the same as Bohs and Drogheda, and it would go a long way towards the title if we could take all nine points from these three fixtures before we go to play in the knock-out competitions,” he told me.
“Morale has been good in the group and on the training ground all week even without Seanie (Maguire) and Kev (O’Connor) and we have wished them well in their careers at Preston North End.
"It’s all part of football, players move on and they are gone now and we have a home game to win tomorrow night,” said McNulty.
“We have plenty of attacking options in Karl Sheppard, Achille Campion and Connor Ellis and in Shane Griffin we have a like for like replacement at left-back.
"The two lads are a big loss, that goes without saying, but we do have cover options.
The lads have a chance to become the main striker for Cork City now and they have all stepped it up in training to catch the manager’s eye.
“I think I have 11 clean sheets now and we kept two shut-outs in the EA Sports Cup, one in the President’s Cup final and one in the Europa League at home to Levadia Tallinn.
Keeping clean sheets can win you games, and if you look at our league record, we have done well as a back four or five. We just have ten against us in 21 games so far and that’s no more than one goal in any game and we have to be happy with those statistics.
It’s not just me it’s the lads in front of me as well and we tend to defend from the front with the forwards closing people down as well. All we want is a league medal, and if we can keep a few more shut-outs, we’ll wrap it up,” said McNulty who is up to 140 consecutive league games for the Leesiders.
It’s a hectic few weeks with five games and it’s a Friday-Monday-Friday routine for the team but McNulty says that every player prefers it that way.
“We are playing for a league title so if you can’t look forward to the heavy schedule, there’s something wrong but we prefer it this way to be honest. We are involved in everything and there are three trophies to be won.
"I don’t think the lads will be complaining too much, at the end of the day, the league, the EA Sports Cup and the FAI Cup are all up for grabs.
"As players you want to play and you prefer that to training any day,” he added.