Ben O'Riordan: Still time for a Cobh Ramblers turnaround with 13 games to go

Ben O'Riordan: Still time for a Cobh Ramblers turnaround with 13 games to go

Cork City's Cian Murphy shoots as Cobh Ramblers' Ben O'Riordan closes in, during their SSE Airtricity League First Division clash at Turner's Cross.

HAVING matched the league leaders for most of the game last Friday night, Cobh Ramblers' Ben O’Riordan believes his side still have time to turn things around this season.

The local derby saw Cork City come away with a one nil victory in Turner's Cross, but the performance has given Cobh the belief they have lacked for a while and O’Riordan believes this could be the difference for the remainder of the season.

“The result against Cork City was obviously disappointing but I can't fault the lads who put in a superb shift,” said O’Riordan. 

"We were excellent in parts, we defended well and put in a solid performance and I thought we were very unlucky not to come away with anything in the end.” 

With just two wins from 19 games, they’ve had a tough season and with the recent departure of manager Darren Murphy things can go either way but O’Riordan, who is playing under his fourth manager since signing senior with the club believes things can improve.

“Of course our season so far has not gone to plan. 

"Results haven't gone our way and we underperformed especially with some of the quality we have in the team, that has been disappointing. 

 Ben O'Riordan, Cobh Ramblers, Harryn Groome, Wexford FC.
Ben O'Riordan, Cobh Ramblers, Harryn Groome, Wexford FC.

"But I think we lacked belief. When you're in this position it's a tough place mentally to overcome. 

"On our day I feel we can match anyone in this league so that's what we need to focus on to pull ourselves out of this position. 

"And from Friday’s game against league leaders Cork City, we proved that to be the case.

“City are top of the table and I feel like we matched them on Friday. 

"We need to take positives from the game and believe we can still do something this season.” 

The 25 year-old electrician from Ballincurra joined the club at the age of 17 from Leeside and while not ideal having so many managers come and go since his time at senior level, the centre half was quick to praise each of them for their contribution to his game.

“It’s not ideal when managers come and go so frequently but I must say that every manager I was under, taught me valuable lessons to bring into my game.

“During my time at Cobh I have played under Stephen Henderson, Stuart Ashton and Darren Murphy and now Ivan. 

"It's difficult when managers leave and it affects the team because you form close bonds with them. 

"However as players, we need to take responsibility as well for the last couple of seasons because we know it has not been good enough. 

"It's tough to see Darren and the rest of the lads go, especially mid season. 

"It's obviously going to be a difficult job for whoever takes over for the remainder of the season. 

"We have 13 games left in the season and we need to have in our heads, that a play-off spot is still possible. 

"We need to take one game at a time and hopefully we'll have a better second half to the season.” 

O’Riordan is a key figure in the heart of the Cobh defence and his performance in particular last week against City was solid. 

Cobh Ramblers Ben O'Riordan keeps the ball away from Bandon's Peter Callanan during the Munster Senior Cup quarter final match at the Town Park Bandon. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Cobh Ramblers Ben O'Riordan keeps the ball away from Bandon's Peter Callanan during the Munster Senior Cup quarter final match at the Town Park Bandon. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Captaining the side on the night he showed great leadership which resulted in his sides good performance throughout the 90 minutes. 

He has huge faith in Ivan Bevan and the new backroom staff to help the team turn things around.

A new manager and can bring a new system or introduce new players. 

Last week's game saw a late call in to the starting X1 for Sean McGrath, who replaced the injured Jason Abbot. 

It’s chances like this that one has to take and McGrath certainly did that. 

For me he was the most impressive player on the pitch. 

He was lively, great with the ball at his feet and looked a threat all evening. 

For O’Riordan, it’s a clean slate and an opportunity for lads to impress the new manager.

“Everyone is going to be on a clean slate and will be trying to impress the new manager in training to make sure to get into the team for next week. 

"It was a tough blow when Abbo got injured but Seany came in and was unbelievable. 

"It's important for us to have players in the squad who can come in and do a job when needed. 

"This will only make our team stronger having competition.

“Ivan and the lads have come in and steadied the ship a bit after last weekend. 

"Ivan coached me back at U16 Cork schoolboys level and has been around the club now for a number of years so I know the qualities and experience that he can give to us. 

"And we can only be positive from here on in.” 

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