AFTER seeing his side return to the top of the table following their victory over Galway United, Cork City manager Colin Healy was full of praise for the character his players showed at Deacy Park.
City had to play the final 22 minutes with 10 men after Ruairi Keating was given a straight red. Although it made it more difficult for Healy’s side, the manager was proud of how his players defended.
“It was going to be one of those games where we would have to defend the box. They are very good at putting in crosses, and they have got some very powerful headers. But we dealt with it. Keats getting sent-off did make it more difficult, but we managed to do it.
"The players have been fantastic. Sometimes we needed to be a back-six, back-seven, but you have to do it. You have to keep going, and we did, and it is a massive three points for us.
“We knew that Galway were going to be dangerous from set-pieces but they can play football as well. They are strong. They have got a lot of goals from set-plays, from throw-ins, so we had to do our homework all week. And we did it.
"You have to sit in. You have to defend the box. We did that and we saw it out, which was brilliant.”
Having already registered some incredible goals for City this season, Matt Healy produced another moment of magic to score the only goal of the game. The City boss spoke highly of the Ipswich Town loanee.
“He doesn’t score ordinary goals. I could never hit the ball the way he hits it. The technique that he has and the power that he generates through his strikes; it's brilliant. He has been fantastic for us. It’s great to have him until the end of the season. We are delighted with him.
“He wanted to stay. Ipswich were brilliant with us.
"I spoke to Brian Klug [Head of Coaching at Ipswich] and he was delighted for him to stay here. I think he is learning his trade here. He is playing men’s football which will bring him on a lot quicker than playing 23s or 21s football over in England because with men’s football; you are playing for something.
"He has been great and we love having him here.”
Before the game, City goalkeeper David Harrington was called-up to the Republic of Ireland squad for their three upcoming UEFA U21 European Championship qualifying fixtures against Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Italy.
Harrington demonstrated in his display against Galway why he has earned his place in Jim Crawford’s squad. Healy was delighted for his keeper on his inclusion in the squad and his performance against Galway.
“It’s great for him to get called into the Irish U21. He has been fantastic for us. He was tested tonight and we knew he would be but he came through it and it was great. He had to come for a lot of crosses, which he did. He had to make a lot of decisions.
"He managed the backline well. And it’s great for him because he is still young and is still learning the game. But it’s fantastic to see a player come through the academy and get an Irish U21 call-up.”