Graham Cummins: It's no secret Cork City and Waterford simply don't like each other

'Who can forget the game four years ago with several sending-offs including the then-City manager John Caulfield, who had earlier been shoved over by Waterford player Bastien Henry?'
Graham Cummins: It's no secret Cork City and Waterford simply don't like each other

Cork City fans in the Shed end during the game against Waterford last month. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

MONDAY: SSE Airtricity League First Division: Waterford v Cork City, RSC, 2pm. 

AFTER Friday’s disappointing result against Bray Wanderers, the Cork City players will be delighted with the quick turnaround in fixtures, especially against one of their competitors for the league. 

As derbies go, this is the biggest in the division. Of course, some might argue that the Cork derby is bigger, but in terms of importance, and considering their recent history, the Munster derby between Waterford and City is the bigger. 

There is no love lost between both sides and the fact that both teams are fighting for promotion against one another adds more intensity to this derby.

There have been some great battles between these sides down the years, and who can forget the famous game almost four years ago to the day in which there were several sending-offs including the then-City manager John Caulfield who had earlier been shoved over by Waterford player Bastien Henry?

I do feel since that game, the dislike has increased and there is certainly no love lost between both sets of supporters.

The most recent meeting between the sides was a comfortable 2-0 victory for City over their Munster rivals. That night City looked fitter and sharper than Waterford and ran all over the Blues. I must admit that that night, despite how impressive City were, I was very disappointed with Waterford. 

Maybe it was just an off-night for them but on that evidence, I can’t see Waterford competing for automatic promotion come the end of the season. They were so sluggish and made mistake after mistake and the scoreline flattered them in the end.

 Ruairi Keating, Cork City, takes on Kevin Joshua, Waterford. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Ruairi Keating, Cork City, takes on Kevin Joshua, Waterford. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

However, I do believe that Waterford have players in their squad that are better than how they performed against City. Anthony Wordsworth has built up a glowing reputation since his brief time in the league and is a key player for the way Waterford play. 

Against City, he looked like he couldn’t get about the pitch and didn’t appear to have the legs to compete against players like Barry Coffey and Aaron Bolger. 

Stopping Wordsworth, like they did in the game at Turner's Cross, is key for City. 

Not only preventing him from dictating the play but also the way he is a leader on the pitch and influences the referees. The former Colchester United player motivates his teammates and is the first man to have a quiet word in the referee’s ear when he feels the man officiating the game might need a gentle reminder about not giving certain decisions in his side's favour. 

To stop this, City need to do what they did in their previous meeting where they tired Wordsworth out so much that he didn’t have the time or energy to concentrate on anything but his own game.

Of course, City will be more worried about how they are going to play and not their opponents. At Turner's Cross, City hurt Waterford by their intensity and turning the Waterford defence, who lacked any real pace. Although Waterford are the home side, and it will be a difficult game for Colin Healy’s team, I feel they should go out with the same tactics as they did early against the Blues and take the game to them. 

RESPECT

Yes, give Waterford the respect they deserve but at the same time, the City players have to remember that Waterford’s weakness is their lack of mobility in defence and they have to start the game with high intensity and remind the Blues that they are a fitter and quicker side than them which will frighten Waterford. 

The one thing City shouldn’t do is standoff the Waterford players and allow them to grow in confidence. They have to press them out of possession and put the balls down the channels. If they do start to dominate the game, like they did at Turner's Cross, they will win. 

Of course, that’s easier said than done but winning would do so much not just in terms of getting three points but the confidence it will give the players by beating one of their main rivals away from home.

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