CORK City switch their attentions back to knock-out Cup football when the holders take on Longford Town away at the City Calling Stadium in the midlands on Saturday night (7.30pm).
Longford are now managed former Tottenham and Cork City striker Neale Fenn and this quarter-final clash is the proverbial banana skin for John Caulfield’s side.
Cork who won the FAI Cup against double chasing Dundalk at the Aviva Stadium thanks to Seanie Maguire’s extra-time goal last year are determined to get back to Dublin on Cup final day tp try and win the double for the first time in the club’s history.
City’s league form has dipped in recent weeks with defeats to Bohemians and Sligo Rovers at home and away to Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium last weekend and they stil need five more points to nail down the league championship.
This weekend they come up against a much improved Longford side who are up to fourth in the First Division and have lost five of 12 home games all season.
The Town have won three of their last four fixtures losing 2-0 to Cobh Ramblers at St Colman’s Park on August 5 and they reached the last eight in the Cup with a 1-0 away win over Bangor Celtic in Dublin.
Don Cowan came on as a substitute after 66 minutes and scored the winner in the 71st minute to sweep the red and blacks into the quarter finals.
Fenn is moulding a decent side together in the midlands with a view to winning promotion back to the top flight next year.
They have good experienced players in Noel Haverty, Sam Verdon, Karl Chambers, Dean Zambra, Rhys Gorman, Don Cowan and goalkeeper Jack Brady has been in good form too between the sticks.
The holders Cork can take nothing for granted here and manager John Caulfield will field his strongest team as the Leesiders bid to get back into the semi-finals of the competition.
Fenn who worked with Drogheda United on the coaching side and was assistant manager at Leyton Orient to his friend Omer Riza and is now in his first managerial job in the League of Ireland and says that he finds it frustrating and stressful in equal measure.
“It’s fine when the team is winning games and everyone is happy but the downside to it all is losing the game you have prepared all week for and it can be a one-goal defeat and that’s a killer. I am enjoying it though and the visit of Cork City in the FAI Cup will be my biggest game yet,” said the Londoner who was born in Edmonton near Tottenham’s White Hart Lane grounds.