CORK CITY boss John Caulfield does not envisage his team winning the league against Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium on Friday night.
The runaway league leaders need five more points to clinch the Holy Grail though a win for Cork against big rivals Rovers and a win for St Pat’s against Dundalk at Oriel Park would hand the title to the Leesiders.
“All we are thinking about is two more wins to land the crown and I just can’t see Dundalk slipping up at home to St Pat’s and that’s as far as it goes to be honest.
"It’s all hypothetical at this stage but we know that if we get two more wins, we are league champions and that is what we are all focused on at this stage,” said an upbeat Caulfield ahead of what could well be another tasty clash.
“All our focus is on Tallaght Stadium and Rovers tomorrow and we won’t be deflected by any other suggestions or permutations.
"We just want to put in a good shift and collect the three points tomorrow night.
“It will be a very difficult game for us and while we are unbeaten away from home in the league, Rovers knocked us out of the EA Sports Cup a few weeks ago and we like to set the record straight.
"Since the start of the season Rovers were one of the teams tipped to win the league and they have done reasonably well to get to the League Cup final.
"But they disappointed me with all the gamesmanship they brought to that semi-final and we need to be careful on that score and not fall into the trap.
“We need a strong, disciplined performance from everyone and total concentration for the 90 minutes plus. We got caught the last night with Alan Bennett’s sending off and we must make sure we end the game with all 11 men on the pitch.
"It could be another tough clash, and there is a bit of bite to our games - but all the shouting is coming from their corner - and we just ignore it,” said Caulfield.
City are unbeaten in the league away from home with 12 wins and a draw at Galway so far that’s a plus factor for the champions-elect.
“It’s been superb but so has our home form bar the two results with Bohemians and Sligo Rovers where we hit a little glitch.
"The lads have been outstanding all season and we are in control of our own destiny now.
"It’s all about us keeping our focus and we have been doing that all week.
"It’s good that we are back to one game a week now and going from Friday night to Friday night because that has given some of our injured players a chance to get back fit and well,” he added.
“All the management staff here played for the club and love the club and it will mean everything to the staff, the players and the fans if and when we do wrap things up.
"We all came in from amateur football and when we did some people thought that we’d struggle a bit but we had a point to prove and we felt that we could turn the club around after coming up from the First Division as champions with Tommy Dunne and I think we have managed to do that and some more,” he added.
"We struggled in the top flight for a spell but our aim was to try and turn the tide and get into Europe straight away and compete for trophies and we have managed to do that each season.
"If winning the FAI Cup last year is anything to go by then winning the league will be massive for the club.
"We are getting close but we need to get our hands on the trophy,” he added.
Shamrock Rovers in fourth place in the table, come into the tie on the back of a 3-0 FAI Cup win over Shelbourne at Tolka Park but they need the points too if they are to hold off Bray Wanderers in the chase for European football.
Full-back Simon Madden is back from suspension and Luke Byrne has recovered from a hamstring strain.