Is John Caulfield now obsessed with Cork City in the way he was with Dundalk?

Galway United boss is trying to put pressure on Colin Healy and his players with two contenders battling for the First Division title
Is John Caulfield now obsessed with Cork City in the way he was with Dundalk?

Galway United manager John Caulfield. Picture: Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile

WHEN I consider someone to be “overwhelming favourites” — as Galway United manager John Caulfield believes Cork City are in the race for the First Division title — that side would have to be way ahead.

They’d need to be drawing from the biggest budget in the league, with the best resources — meaning an excellent training ground and technology available to them for the scientific side of the game. They’d also want to have a substantial points lead.

City can boast about having among the best resources in the division but they’re only three points clear and certainly don’t have the best budget in the division — a privilege that Galway have.

We are 14 games into a 36-game season and the division is a two-horse race. Caulfield will be worried about City, even obsessed, similar to how he was when he was manager of City and the way he acted when it came to Dundalk.

He would emphasise in the media that Dundalk were clear favourites but when it came to talking to the players in the dressing room, he was saying the complete opposite. Leading into Dundalk games, it was different to other matches in terms of the amount of video analysis we used to do, and having motivational videos before the game.

That was a good thing in the sense it got us focused for the game but also gave extra nerves which is not something as a player you want to have.

Although, City haven’t been at their best recently, they have been winning games and in a strange way this could be worrying the Galway manager more than if they had been comfortably beating teams. He now knows that City are capable of winning games in different ways.

Galway and City games are always battles and often come down to which side manages the game and dig out the victory, areas that City wouldn’t have been strongest at in the past, but now they are and that will concern Caulfield.

Does Caulfield really believe his comments labelling City “overwhelming favourites”? Absolutely not. 

They are simply words to try and put pressure on City but also relieve pressure on Galway.

I don’t think the City players or manager Colin Healy will take much notice of them. They might discuss them in a joking matter. They have been under pressure all season and have responded. The increased demands are down to positive performances because they are showing that they are capable of winning this division not because a rival manager believes they are “overwhelming favourites”.

TOUGHER

City aren’t the only club that deserve plaudits in this title race. Galway are the side with the biggest budget and the team that opposition players will be a small bit envious of because of the comparison in wages between what they get paid and what the Tribesmen players get paid. This can make games tougher for Galway because opposition players will want to impress against Caulfield’s side in the hope of earning a move and a more lucrative contract with Galway.

With the transfer window approaching and Galway in the hunt for automatic promotion, I’m sure they will have the funds available to add to their squad, whereas City will be more concerned about keeping hold of players in the summer rather than adding to the squad.

In particular Matt Healy. The Ipswich Town player’s loan expires in June. His contract with his parent club also ends in just over a month but the club do have an option to extend that deal, and having seen Healy this season, I would be surprised if Ipswich did not use that option.

Would Ipswich be willing to send Healy back to City? They will clearly see that the loan has developed him and sending him back would only further that development, but, they could also be thinking that if they are to send him out on loan again it would be better for Healy to go to another English club to progress his career — which gives them the option of getting Healy to train with Ipswich some days while also training and playing matches with a loan club.

Caulfield has fired the bullets early in the race for the title, which can be good to hear because it adds extra spice to what already is an exciting title race.

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