CORK City boss John Caulfield has predicted a war of attrition and a dogfight of a match when the Leesiders take on Finn Harps in tonight’s televised clash at Ballybofey.
The game is ‘live’ on RTE 2 at 7.30pm.
After back-to-back home defeats to Bohemians and Sligo Rovers, City need to address this slide and Caulfield hopes to have wide player Stephen Dooley available after illness kept him out of last Friday night’s embarrassing loss.
“We need to refocus now quickly and be ready for Harps tonight. We need to play with our usual intensity again and that high tempo game and we need to go back to a high work-rate and our best traits from earlier in the season.
“It’s a quick turnaround for us and it’s an early chance for the lads to get the Sligo defeat out of the system. We will be going to war and into a dogfight in what will be another tight and physical 90 minutes football. It will be right a scrap at one of the toughest venues in the country,” warned Caulfield ahead of the team’s departure for Donegal.
“Harps, just like Sligo, are fighting for their lives and if we play like we did on Friday night and under perform again then we will get done again.
"We may not be scoring as many goals but we are still well capable of winning matches and there’s no need for panic. We won at Drogheda and we won a difficult away FAI Cup match at Bray so we know we haven’t become a bad team overnight.
“We just need to go back to what we were good at all year and hopefully that will all fall into place for us tonight,” he added.
Caulfield said: “We will have to up our work-rate to get the better of Harps but they gave us our hardest game of the season on the opening day of the season and it took a late goal from Sean Maguire for us to win the game the last time we were at Finn Park.
“We probably feel a bit more pressure playing in front of huge crowds at home and we’ve lost back-to-back home games for the first time all season so it will be interesting to see how we get on away from home and out on the road in the coming weeks.
“We don’t have a home league game or some time and we can make a comparison in a few weeks.
"We have Athlone Town in the FAI Cup now next Friday night and that’s a game we simply have to go and win as the Cup holders and get ourselves into the next round of the competition. I am not too worried about our home game with Dundalk at the moment and when the league might fix it for because we don’t want to lose our focus ahead of tonight’s big match,” he added.