CORK City’s established left-back Kevin O’Connor is ready for a Dundalk backlash at Turner’s Cross on Saturday, 3pm.
The Wexford man and former Ireland U21 star feels John Caulfield’s league leaders will be able to cope with whatever the champions throw at them in this TV encounter.
“We go out to win every game and tomorrow will be no different. It’s still early in the season but three points is the target again. We didn’t perform anywhere near we can up at Shamrock Rovers and that was disappointing but we still came away with the three points.
“Once you have Seanie Maguire up front, you always have a chance, and he came up trumps for us with his two goals up at Tallaght,” said O’Connor who has been an ever-present all season.
“We haven’t hit the heights just yet and we certainly haven’t played our best football. I still think there’s more to come from us and it would be nice to deliver a result for the home fans.
"We have been on top of Dundalk lately and they know it so it makes for an interesting clash.
"We played well to beat them in the President’s Cup but they will come down all guns blazing and looking to cause an upset.
“They will have the bit between their teeth and they will give it a right go. They are three points behind so they will want to get the win, but so do we, to open up a gap at the top,” he added.
“We are expecting a backlash and we are ready for it. Anything they throw at us, we will be ready for it. We go out to play now, irrespective of the opposition, and we don’t think we are going to concede and there’s a great self-belief in the team.
"We are a hard-working side but we have yet to play to our best but that could all fall into place tomorrow,” said O’Connor.
“I think winning the FAI Cup has kicked us all on and given us the know-how to dig out results. We found a way to win the Cup final at the Aviva Stadium and we did it again in the President’s Cup in Cork. We can do it all over again and set down another marker.
“We have massive strength-in-depth and if Johnny (Dunleavy) and Greg (Bolger) are out, then we have good cover and we have the quality there to step into the breach. We’ve had Alan Bennett and Gearoid Morrissey on the bench in games and that just shows the quality we possess.
"We have lads who can play in a few positions, like Conor McCormack, and we have a great balance in the side these days,” he added.