Graham Cummins on Cork City: All about picking up points to avoid a relegation battle from here

Colin Healy's side are away to St Pat's on Good Friday in need of a positive result
Graham Cummins on Cork City: All about picking up points to avoid a relegation battle from here

Joshua Honohan of Cork City in action against Dylan Grimes of Drogheda United at Turner's Cross. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

FRIDAY: SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: St Patrick’s Athletic v Cork City, Richmond Park, 7.45pm.

TWO games in four days over the Easter period for Cork City, and looking at the league table; the Rebel Army have to at least collect three points otherwise things could start to look very bleak. 

I don’t want to be viewed as a negative writer, believe me, nothing would please me more than seeing City winning major honours, but they are a long way off that for now and their only aim this season should be to avoid relegation. If they don’t collect sufficient points this Easter weekend, then that feat will become more difficult.

City currently occupy the relegation/playoff position in the table and if they can just climb one place in the league before the end of the season, then it would have been a successful campaign. Some supporters might disagree with my opinion. An optimist would look at the league table and say City are only three points off Sligo Rovers in fourth place. 

Also if you take into consideration that had City held on against Sligo and Shamrock Rovers in games they lead deep into the dying moments then they would be four points better off meaning they would be the side sitting in fourth in the table. 

I just worry for City after seeing some of their performances this season.

Of course, there are many strengths in the team, most notably Ruairi Keating, who already has five league goals this season. What is even more impressive about his tally is that he has done so with limited service. 

Ruairi Keating of Cork City in action against Evan Weir of Drogheda United. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Ruairi Keating of Cork City in action against Evan Weir of Drogheda United. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Apart from the UCD fixture, it’s hard to argue that Keating hasn’t had to work tirelessly every game to earn his goals. He deserves enormous credit for the role he has played in the team this year. He chases everything down, and what I really like about him is despite the fact that he is not getting good service and still is still shining in the team, he’s not one that points the finger at others when they give him a poor ball. 


Instead, he tries to turn an awful pass into a good one and he is a real leader in the team. Hopefully, he can remain injury free because City need him.

I think the lack of natural full-backs in the side was evident against Drogheda. Both Josh Honohan and Darragh Crowley did a good job against the Louth side, but offensively they didn’t offer much. I understand that both Crowley and Honohan aren’t in their natural positions but they need to have a greater impact going forward for the side. 

Again an argument could be made against my opinion because City are the joint second in terms of scorers in the division and defensively they have to be better. And it’s right that the full-backs are cautious about going forward. I’m not saying they should drive up at every opportunity but they have to show more desire to make an overlap on the man ahead of them and create those two v one situations. 

Even if they don’t receive the ball from the winger, they are asking a question of the opposition full-back whether to go with them or stay with their man. Also, they create space inside for whoever is in front of them.

Despite being just one place above them, Pat's have been good this season. Of course, that humiliating 5-0 defeat against Dundalk, wasn’t their proudest moment, but they seem to be back on track now and with Chris Forrester in their side, they have one of the most naturally gifted players in the league. 

City have to try to stop the influential playmaker from having an impact here. 

I feel City have struggled at times in games in the middle of the park and they have to improve on this if they want to come away with any points on Friday night. 

Like most of the away games this season, City will be underdogs on Friday night and any points collected up in Richmond Park would be a good return from the fixture for City.

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