Colin Healy: We will strengthen Cork City squad for next season

Cork City boss determined to finish the season on a high even though promotion is out of reach
Colin Healy: We will strengthen Cork City squad for next season

Cork City manager Colin Healy and assistant Liam Kearney. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

DESPITE seeing his side fail to score for the third successive game, Cork City manager Colin Healy was pleased by his team’s performance against Bray Wanderers on Friday night.

City were denied by an inspired performance from Bray goalkeeper Brian Maher, with his most notable save coming in the first-half, when he denied City top-scorer Cian Murphy from scoring his 11th league goal of the season.

Healy acknowledged that his side were unfortunate not to have come away from the Carlisle Grounds with three points.

Speaking after the match, he said: “We had a lot of chances. I thought we were very good tonight. We looked a threat going forward. We defended well. Listen, they’re a good side, but I think we had a lot of opportunities.

“We just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. Cian’s been fantastic this year for us. He’s been brilliant. He’s got pace and Cian Bargary plays a great pass, but then again, it’s a great save by Brian Maher as well. Brian is a good keeper. I know Brian from the Republic of Ireland underage setup.

“He’s a good keeper and we knew that. We knew that it had to be a special goal to beat Brian.”

Healy gave David Harrington his first league start at the club and the City manager was very impressed by the way his goalkeeper, the son of City legend Phil, performed against the Seagulls. However, he wouldn’t confirm whether Harrington will continue in goal ahead of Mark McNulty for City’s three remaining fixtures.

“He came in. He got his opportunity. Mark has done very well this year. Harry has had to be very patient. He has had to bide his time, but he has come in and I thought he was brilliant tonight, and it’s great to see. He’s had to be patient, but that’s goalkeepers, that’s what happens.

He’s a good professional. He trains well. He’s got someone very good to look up to with Nults and obviously his father as well, and I’m delighted for him and he was very good.

“There are the standards we need to set. Mark’s a good professional and he knows we need to see Harry as well. He has come in tonight, and he was really good. I worked with Harry as well at underage so I know what he is about, and I know first-team is different as well.

“Mark has been fantastic all year for us and Harry has come in and done well for us. We will see if he will continue in goal next week for us. We have Wexford next week, so we will see how training goes next week and make a decision on that one.”

With the play-offs now officially out of reach, Healy refused to rule out experimenting with his squad for the remaining games. However, the City boss is keen to end the season on a high, with promotion the aim for the club next year.

Cork City's Josh Honohan in action against Bray Wanderers' Gary Shaw. Picture: Garry O'Neill.
Cork City's Josh Honohan in action against Bray Wanderers' Gary Shaw. Picture: Garry O'Neill.

“We go on and try and win every game. That’s all we can do. I know we can’t make the play-offs but we will be building for next year. We will have a look if we do make changes between now and the end of the season but we still want to win the games as well.

“Harry came in here so we will have a look. It was good to see Josh Honohan back.

“Promotion has to be our target next season. We have to get some more players in and we have to strengthen the squad, and that’s the plan.”

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