CORK CITY’S Women’s manager Rónán Collins believes his side needs to improve defensively in the opening stages of games after another slow start cost them at the weekend.
City were ultimately beaten 3-0 by a Saoirse Noonan- inspired Shelbourne on Saturday afternoon with two of the goals being conceded inside the opening 12 minutes.
The Leesiders also found themselves two goals down after 22 minutes the week previous in their season opener away to Galway although they would rally to claim a point.
“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb again,” said Collins.
“Obviously, we can’t be happy with the performance in the first 20 to 25 minutes but there was a lot of positives to take from then on.
“Defensively, we need to tighten it a bit more in the early part of the game but I’m happy with some of the adjustments we made throughout.
“It took us a long time to get to grips with the way they were attacking and that is disappointing.
“We then brought our own attacking threat which we didn’t bring enough of in the first half.
“We were able to play the game a bit more in their half and it was probably close enough in possession in the second, but we have got to do that for two halves. We still need to learn.
“It’s unfair of me to ask the girls to understand those adjustments straight at the start of the game but for them to bring it all into play and implement in the second half was a huge statement on how they are developing and moving along. We can get back into a game like that when we are not really in it.
A lot of teams can have their confidence crushed but we don’t play like that.
“Younger girls need to be filled with confidence, and if you can fill girls with confidence you are really going to see them grow and blossom.
“We have already seen that in this club with younger players, they keep getting younger but we are going to keep playing with that confidence because that is what will bring players on and that is where our long-term focus is.”
Despite the result, it was a momentous day for City as they played their first game at their new home at Turner’s Cross.
“The pitch was in immaculate condition, the Munster Football Association have done a super job. To come in with the weather the way it was, there is nowhere else you would rather be.
“This is something we are going to grow into as well and I can see this being a huge part of how we develop and move on. It’s terrific, and the girls are really proud that this is now where we call home,” said Collins.
City have no game this weekend with Ireland playing friendly games.
The following week City are away to Bohs, which will be another tough test for the Leesiders.