THE mid-season break has come at a good time for Cork City and Cobh Ramblers who have struggled in the first series of league games.
After 10 games Cobh Ramblers sit second from bottom on the table with eight points while Cork City are one position and one point above them on nine. For the majority of Cobh’s time in the League of Ireland they have operated in the second tier.
And so maybe it’s not too much of a surprise to see them where they are on the table.
However, it certainly is more of a shock to see Cork City near the bottom of the First division. City are one of the biggest clubs in the country and it’s difficult to see them struggle at this level with no major signs of improvement.
I don’t think any of us could have predicted seeing City where they are now at this stage of the competition and they have serious work to do.
Manager Colin Healy has repeatedly praised his players since the beginning of the season, and after each defeat, for their effort and work rate, however that wasn’t very evident last Friday and they showed very little grit and passion against their local rivals Cobh Ramblers, which is why I am now a little worried and concerned for this side.
Shels are on top of the table, 15 points ahead of City.
Although defensively City have improved in the past few games only conceding one in their previous three games however their poor form of defending resumed last week against Cobh.
With regards to the goal conceded, the cross delivered into the box wasn’t pressured and the amount of time Jake Hegarty got in the box was ridiculous and shouldn’t happen at this level.
This sharpness from City is definitely something that will need to be improved on going forward.
Also, City have lacked an out and out striker since the departure of Seanie Maguire in July 2017 and maybe this is an area where the club needs to put more resources into, as t’s been a huge problem for City and at the end of the day no matter how good a team is performing, if they’re not scoring goals, then they will struggle to get points.
I suppose we have also heard quite often how young the side are and how patience is needed however this can no longer be an excuse.
There are other teams in the league with younger and more inexperienced players so one would hope that City can regroup during the break and kick off with a win over Cabinteely in their next game at home on June 11.
They have quality in their side but something just needs to click, and quick.
For Cobh, last Friday’s win over Cork City is a real confidence boost for Stuart Ashton’s side and one in which they hope will kick start their season.
It was the first home victory for Ramblers this season, their first league success against City in 26 years.
They too have had a poor start to the campaign only winning twice, drawing two and losing six.
To be fair to them, apart from their clash against UCD, their performances haven’t been too bad with very little between the sides in each game. Having watched them a few times this season and in particular against Cork City last weekend, I was impressed with their work-rate and hunger.
I appreciate players are always more up for a derby but I would imagine Ashton will have his lads geared up to play with the same tempo for every other opposition. If they play with the same intensity, they can turn things around.
This coupled with a bit better football being played, then Ramblers can push their way up the table for what seems to be a very open competition at the moment.
The league resumes on June 11 when City host Cabinteely while Cobh travel to take on UCD.
These will be another two tough games for both Cork sides having both already been defeated by the same opposition earlier this season but let’s hope the break can rejuvenate both sides and both can produce better performances for which is badly needed.