While Cork City’s performance against Athlone Town on Friday night was an improvement on the previous week, it was little consolation for manager Colin Healy after the 1-0 loss.
A late goal from the visitors’ James Doona at Turner’s Cross condemned City to a second straight defeat, having lost to Cabinteely the week before. Though City played well at times, Healy could take little comfort.
“I don’t, because we were beaten,” he said.
“It’s not good enough for the standards that we set around the club and the players know that. We need to get back into training and focus, because we have a massive game against Shelbourne next week.
If there was one bright spot for City it was the performance of centre-forward Jack Walsh, who made his first start and won the man of the match award. With Walsh, Beineón O’Brien-Whitmarsh and Cian Murphy vying for the number 9 position, Healy is happy with his options but knows that the team need more goals.
“We brought Jack in,” he said, “he has done very well since he came into the club.
“He showed on Friday that he’s a good player. In training he gives everything, he came on against Cabinteely and did well and against Athlone he showed everybody what he’s about.
“There was a good chance where he went around three or four people, I thought he could have hit it a small bit quicker, he went back and laid it off to Chops [Gearóid Morrissey] but he did well
“We have a young squad this year and I have the three lads up there, Cian Murphy, Beineón and Jack.
“That’s what I have and I’m happy with what I have. We just have to keep going as a team and as a coaching staff and to start getting results. As a team, we need to be better in front of goal and that’s what’s killing us in front of goal.”
Next up for City is Shelbourne at home on Friday. While Healy is loathe to class it as a must-win game, he knows that points are necessary.
“I wouldn’t say that, but for myself and everyone in Cork, we need to start winning games,” he said.
“I know they’re a young group and they didn’t have a good year last year, but we need to stick together. I know the performance was probably better than last week, but for me, it counts for nothing.”