I'M not saying that drawing against the side bottom of the first division is a good result for Cork City but considering they had to play the entire second half with 10-men, a point away to Wexford wasn’t as bad as people think.
Of course, I understand that when you compare Wexford and City as clubs they are night and day. City are the biggest club in the country who have ambitions of being back in the Premier Division and challenging for major honours, whereas Wexford seem happy just to be able to compete in the League of Ireland. However, City are in a transitional stage and a lot of patience will be needed by the fans before they see the glory days return to City.
In fairness to the City supporters, they have stuck by their team throughout the season and even after the Wexford game, were eager for the players to address them to show their appreciation to the players for their efforts. I don’t think the players' reluctance was anything to do with a lack of appreciation to their supporters, I believe it’s more to do with the fact that they feel they have left the fans down and felt embarrassed to go over to the City supporters.
They know that results haven’t been good enough this season.
Against Wexford, it was not the high intensity performance we have seen from City over the past several games but that was always going to be difficult when you consider the heat during the match. Players aren’t used to playing in those high temperatures. As much as they would have wanted to have pressed quickly out of possession, it was too difficult with the heat and it made the pace of the game pedestrian at times.
The dry surface didn’t suit City, restricting them from passing the ball quickly and often causing the players to get the ball stuck under their feet.
They would have lost that game two months ago but they are improving and worked extremely hard for one another.
They have more confidence in themselves and in one another and looked like they believed they could get something from the game when they went down to 10, whereas a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have been saying the same.
They showed a ‘cuteness’ to their game when they went a man down. The City players were rolling around the floor every time they were fouled.
They were trying to convince the referee that the fouls were worse than what they were. Some people might not agree with that behaviour but it showed that they were prepared to do anything to get a result from the game.
On the sending-off; City can have few complaints. Alec Byrne needlessly was booked early on for pulling a Wexford player’s jersey and his second yellow, probably deserved a red card in itself, such was the recklessness of it.
His teammates should have also reminded him throughout the half that he needed to be careful.
Credit to the players that remained on the pitch because they fought to make sure they got something from the game even Dylan McGlade, who can a lot of the time be disinterested in doing the ugly side of the game. I did fear that he might not track back or put in the same amount of effort as his teammates after Byrne’s dismissal but he put in the same shift as the rest of the City players.
Now, a big factor in that might be that he suspected Dale Holland was due to replace him early in the second half because when Holland was nearing the fourth official to come on, McGlade seemed to sprint after the Wexford players and Holland appeared to be told to sit back down again.
Whatever happened against Wexford, it wasn’t going to change the outcome of their season, City aren’t going to get into the playoffs but it’s important that players show they care, which the performance against Wexford did.