CORK City’s excellent defensive record this season is all down to communication and the fact that the players in front of goalkeeper Mark McNulty are such good talkers.
The Ballincollig man and SWAI ‘Goalkeeper of the Year’ said that is one of the secrets to the FSI Cup holders success as they chase a league title this season.
“We have to be happy having won our first six games of the season but we know we have another 26 or 27 games to go starting with Limerick tomorrow night.
Despite all the changes in defence and in the back five we have been okay, but so long as you have lads who can talk and communicate it makes it a lot easier.
“Alan Bennett, Conor McCormack and Kevin O’Connor are all good talkers and we have a lot of experience there too with Johnny Dunleavy.
“It’s when the boys go quiet that you can run into problems but we’ve two clean sheets in six and that’s something we want to improve on as the weeks go by,” said McNulty when he met the media ahead of the Munster derby with Limerick.
“It’s good to have Limerick back in the Premier Division. They are a good side and have ambitions of European football next season. I talk to Shane Duggan a fair bit and he’s been telling me how good they are and how they like to play ball. It’s a Munster derby and it’s going to be a tough game for us but it’s one we are all looking forward to now.
“I think the Cork fans are looking forward to it as well and they will travel in big numbers. Its three points on offer again, we have to go after the win and tick off those games.
There should be a bit of spice to it with so many former City lads with Limerick in Shane Duggan, Ian Turner, Chiedozie Ogbene, Stephen Kenny and John O’Flynn and they will want to try and beat us tomorrow night,” said record breaker McNulty who has kept two clean sheets so far.
“It was great to get that early win over Dundalk and it was a real boost. But the three points we won last Saturday against them, it’s the same three points we won up at Finn Harps on the opening night and it’s the same reward again if we win up at Limerick,” he stressed.
“Our crowds have really picked up since John (Caulfield) came in as manager and we know a win in Limerick we get us another 7,000 plus crowd for the game at home to Derry City next week.
Our performances and the brand of football we have been playing has helped. As long as we keep winning and keep doing what we are doing, we know the fans will come out to see us play every week.
“I’d say Finn Harps away with the dodgy pitch, the weather and the conditions generally on the opening night was our hardest game so far. Harps are a hard-working team, they battle hard and they make life difficult for all visiting teams.
“It’s like they say – it’s easy to get yourself up for the likes of Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers and Derry City but the tricky games are away to say Harps, Bray and possibly Limerick.
One of our problems last year was that we were not picking up away wins against the lesser lights but we have changed that trend and that’s made a big difference to us,” said McNulty with the Leesiders sitting six points clear at the top of the table tonight.
“A provincial derby like Cork and Limerick is good for the league and hopefully we might have Waterford promoted for next year. It’s a handy trip for the fans and just down the road and it’s good for the game to have that provincial rivalry,” said ‘Nults’ who will be making his 123rd consecutive appearance for the Leesiders at the Market’s Field.