Cork City captain hoping to keep rolling on against his hometown club

Cork City captain hoping to keep rolling on against his hometown club
Cork City's John Dunleavy celebrates after defeating Bray Wanderers. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Noel Spillane

Soccer

CORK CITY skipper Johnny Dunleavy is convinced that his club can keep their incredible winning run going against his hometown club, Ballybofey-based Finn Harps at Turner’s Cross on Friday night.

The former Wolves and Ireland U21 defender says that City have been performing well over the last few weeks and it’s just a case of keeping it going in 24 hours time.

“We are very hard to beat and in the first batch of 11 fixtures we have scored 28 goals and conceded just five so we are the highest-scoring team in the league and we have the best defence. And with home advantage, you’d have to fancy us to win again,” said Dunleavy who had the rare distinction of being on the score sheet in the 2-1 home win over Bray Wanderers.

“It was good to get a goal because it’s been such a long time since I scored one like that. I suppose it was a mixture of a lot of things coming out. I put in a lot of work after my injury and over the last year to get back to where I am and it was relief and reward all rolled into one.

“There’s no better feeling than scoring in front of the Shed in a big game and the main thing was to take the three points and it will be exactly the same for us when Harps roll into town.

Harps have lost their last two games to Drogheda and Bohemians but they gave us a very hard match up in Ballybofey and we will have to be at the top of our game to win again.

We will be focussed as usual and we just need to keep the performances ticking over but Harps will be hard to break down,” reckons the Donegal man.

“I am not too surprised by the start we have made but it’s not something we were planning.

"We just wanted to win the first game, then the second and third and it’s grown from there. But with the quality we have and the strength-in-depth we possess, we’re on a roll,” he told me at the club’s weekly press briefing at Bishopstown.

“We were more than a match for St Pat’s on bank holiday Monday in the EA Sports Cup quarter-final and now we need a repeat performance to do the business against a dogged and hard working Finn Harps side.

“Our training sessions are tough and intense but that’s what you want, you want the lads pushing one another and you need that bit of nastiness too. Listen it’s a pleasure to come in every morning to the sessions and we go flat out every time but that is what gives us such a competitive edge when it comes to actually playing our league and cup games,” said Dunleavy, who has been steadily building up his match fitness.

Cork are back on the road next weekend away to Shane Keegan’s Galway United at Eamon Deacy Park on Friday night week.

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