IT’S no surprise that once again we talk about a crucial win needed for Colin Healy’s Cork City side tonight in Athlone.
Second from bottom of the First Division table on nine points, whoever could have predicted this at the beginning of the season?
With just two wins from 11, it’s been a horrendous season so far. And none more so than for manager Colin Healy.
“First and foremost I am a supporter of the club, and for me it’s very disappointing to see where the team are on the table,” said Healy.
As the manager it is very frustrating, as I know how hard the lads work at training and I see all the effort they put in, however our position on the table isn’t good enough and I know that.
“I can’t say our performances have been as bad as the table shows, as credit to the lads, there has been games when we have enjoyed most of the possession. However conceding sloppy goals from individual errors and not being able to put the ball in the back of the net has been a main problem for us and this needs to change, and quickly.”
City come into the game on the back of a 2-0 defeat against Cabinteely. A disappointing result which Healy hopes his side can put behind and push on from tonight.
“Our second-half performance against Cabinteely was very poor. Again it was a game where we had a lot of possession and although we got into the final third on a lot of occasions, our decision-making let us down again.
“And at the other end, conceding a sloppy goal from another individual error, punished us greatly again. These silly mistakes need to stop and hopefully that begins tonight.”
Cian Bargarry and George Heaven look doubtful for tonight having picked up knocks in last week’s game and although both will be a huge loss to an already struggling City side, it will be good to have the experienced and leadership of Gearoid Morrissey and Steven Beattie back in the side.
We have said many times about how young this City side are and although it’s no longer an excuse, having experienced lads is a boost for Colin Healy.
Hopefully, their experience and leadership can improve City’s performance as they face Athlone tonight.
The last time these sides met back in April, City suffered a 1-0 defeat in Turner’s Cross. Again it was an individual error, then by Jonas Hakkinen that led to City conceding in that game.
Credit to Athlone, they were well organised and very physical and fit with James Doona and Kurtis Byrne causing City a lot of problems. I think that’s what differed between the sides plus the fact that Athlone played very direct.
They were very strong on the break and definitely had more urgency than City in the final third.
There were periods in that game when City enjoyed a lot of possession however we see this on a regular basis but the problem is City are not converting possession into goals but let’s hope that can change tonight.
Athlone have lost five of their last six games so it may be a chance for City to get something out of this game tonight.
The game will be played on astro so it will be another tough game for City, but then again, every game so far this season has been a difficult task.
The one positive I took from last week’s game against Cabinteely was the tempo the players played at. I know the fans played a huge role in this however if City can play with the same tempo and intensity, I think they could take advantage of Athlone’s poor run of form and get a win. They need it.
Tomorrow, Cobh will host Limerick side Treaty. This is expected to be a close encounter.
The last time the sides met back in April, the game ended in a 1-1 draw however Cobh had to play over an hour with 10 men after Charlie Fleming received his marching orders after the half-hour mark.