I believe in the First Division league, every game this season will be a tough game for both Cork City and Cobh Ramblers.
We saw last week from the opening fixtures results just how competitive and tight the league can be.
With three draws and just two wins from last week’s fixtures, Cork City and Cabinteely both had the wins, so tonight’s games for both Cork teams can be an opportunity to get points on the table.
Cork City are away to Cabinteely in what should be a real good test for them.
The Dublin side had a good 2-1 win over Wexford last weekend and although City had the same result over Cobh Ramblers in their opening fixture it may not have been as easy as Cabinteely’s win.
I expect tonight’s game to be a similar type of game to last week for City. Cabinteely are a fit and physical side and they will put up a real battle under Pat Devlin.
They had a good season last year beaten only by a point for the play-offs so I have no doubt they will be very organised and looking to get their first home win of the new season. City, on the other hand, will be looking to gain another three points from this expected difficult game.
Healy has a huge panel and a lot of quality.
One player who missed last week’s game due to injury was Steven Beattie so hopefully he will be fit enough to return to the squad. I think City could do with his experience and toughness in this game.
Healy stressed the importance of picking up points away from home this season as he believes every game will be competitive and it will be important not to fall behind in the table.
“I have no doubt this will be a very competitive season,” said Healy.
"There are some great teams in the league and I believe every team will put it up to us this season so we need to be at our best in every game.
“We have a lot of positives to take from last week where the lads showed great character under pressure at times.
"Playing in a local derby sometimes can put more pressure on the lads and therefore things may not come off as well as they want so we are delighted to have the first game out of the way and to get the three points was massive for us and it gives us belief going up to Cabinteely this evening.”
It’s difficult to guess Healy’s starting XI tonight. Too early in the season to say he knows his best line-up so I imagine he will be trying lads out for a while yet.
To be fair his starters did well against Cobh, but maybe if Beattie is unfit, he may still decide to start Uniss Kargbo in the right-back position. Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh replaced Cian Murphy up front last week but to be fair to Murphy, I thought he worked hard but just didn’t get a lot of ball.
The good thing is that Healy seems to have plenty of options in all areas of the pitch so regardless of who he plays, I’m sure they’ll do the job.
Cobh are home to UCD tomorrow evening and they will be looking to pick up their first points of the season. They were unlucky last weekend not to at least share the spoils away to Cork City.
I felt Cobh played the better football on the night and although they were disappointed to lose 2-1, I have no doubt last week’s performance will give them confidence heading into tomorrow’s game against the Students.
They created a lot of chances against City last week and were solid in defence while some of their youngsters really stood up to the plate playing at LOI level for the first time and if they can bring that form in to tomorrow’s game, I would be confident they can get something from the game.
UCD were unlucky themselves not to get a win last weekend when they were denied in injury time having conceded a late equaliser against Athlone to make it 2 2.
The students had played well and have been doing so since pre-season, most notably in their 2-2 draw against Shamrock Rovers so Stuart Ashton’s side will need to give 100% in their performance to stop the Dublin side from taking points from this young, but talented Cobh side.