Cork City v Wexford: Rebel Army fans looking for goals and a win 

Graham Cummins previews Friday's League of Ireland fixture, the third last of a disappointing First Division campaign
Cork City v Wexford: Rebel Army fans looking for goals and a win 

Cork City fans cheering on the team against Cabinteely in the SSE Airtricity First Division game at Turner's Cross. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

FRIDAY: First Division: Cork City v Wexford FC: Turner's Cross, 7.45pm 

WITH three games remaining in their season, Cork City will be looking to build momentum in their remaining games for next year. 

City have two of their three final fixtures at Turner's Cross and victories in those games will be important

With Covid, and crowds been restricted to attending the majority of games this season, it would have been interesting to see what sort of average attendances the Rebel Army would have had this season had fans been allowed in 

It’s not been a successful campaign for City so the average attendance figure would hardly have been above 2,000. Success draws crowds to Turner's Cross, which is why these final two home fixtures might be a little bit more important than they would appear.

Supporters want to see winning entertaining football, and if City can put on a show against Wexford, then that could persuade some fans to purchase a season ticket for next season. 

The players need to show that this year was all about learning and getting experience and that they are a better side than they were at the beginning of the season and will be better again next year.

David Harrington’s inclusion in last week’s fixture against Bray Wanderers does suggest that Healy has already begun his plans for next year and he will use these final three matches as a way to gauge some of the players he is unsure of. 

I’ve no doubt, Healy was undecided about making Harrington his number one goalkeeper next season, and just because Harrington was excellent against Bray, doesn’t mean he will be City’s first-choice keeper next year, but it showed that the 21-year-old can be trusted to play and that he has a future at the club. 

Of course, one good game doesn’t mean Harrington is the finished article. He has to show that same level of performance in the remaining fixtures if selected.

If you go by the league table; Wexford are the worst team in the division. This would have been the ideal game for Cathal Heffernan to make his city debut, but the 16-year-old is unavailable due to his involvement with the Republic of Ireland U17 squad. 

Ireland’s Cathal Heffernan is also a member of the Cork City senior squad. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton
Ireland’s Cathal Heffernan is also a member of the Cork City senior squad. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton

The U17s face North Macedonia on Thursday night at Turner's Cross, and it will be interesting to see the condition of the pitch after. It might not be in the condition Healy would have hoped for and might suit Wexford more. 

City like to keep possession of the ball, but if the pitch hasn’t repaired in time, Healy might be forced to adjust his tactics by reminding his players that they will have to be more cautious about what areas of the pitch they try and pass the ball on the floor.

Despite their struggles, Wexford are one actually of the form teams having won their last three league games. I believe that Ian Ryan is one of the best managers in the division and has done an excellent job since taking over during the season. 

He encourages his players and has gotten the players to believe in their own abilities. When Jack Doherty is on song, I believe they have one of the best players in the league. 

There’s a reason he spent time at Ipswich Town when he was younger. He is technically very good and has an eye for goal. 

I’m sure, Healy will also be keeping one eye on opposition players in these last fixtures with the view of them being potential signings. Doherty might just be a player that attracts his interest.

City come into the game without a goal in their last three league fixtures. It seems to have gone full circle with the team. 

At the beginning of the campaign, they were struggling to find the back of the net, before the team found their shooting boots, and they are at the point of finding it difficult to find the net again. 

Cian Murphy has been unlucky of late but the striker needs to end the season on a high by adding to the 10 goals he has already scored this season.

Players are playing for their futures and although some supporters might think it isn’t an important game, for the players; it is another opportunity to remind Healy that they should have a future with City.

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