Cork City manager Colin Healy has backed his attacking players to deliver a positive result as Athlone Town come to Turner’s Cross for tonight’s SSE Airtricity League First Division clash (7.45pm).
Last week, City had a lot of the play against Cabinteely but couldn’t score and lost 1-0. However, Healy has faith that that game wasn’t a true reflection of the talents he has at his disposal.
“We have good attacking players,” he said, “there’s a good few of them – Jack Walsh, Beineón O’Brien-Whitmarsh, Cian Murphy, Dylan McGlade on the wing and ‘Bagsy’ [Cian Bargary] on the other wing.
“There are a lot of attacking players, but the hardest thing in football is putting the ball in the back of the net and that’s what we struggled with against Cabinteely. Hopefully we can be much better against Athlone on Friday.”
While he acknowledged that the defeat was frustrating, Healy doesn’t feel that it belied a lack of leadership in the team.
“You look around and see you’re 1-0 down, you’re asking fellas to drag you through and all that kind of stuff,” he said.
“The lads that were in the middle of the park, Alec Byrne was very good, Gearóid Morrissey, we brought on Cory Galvin to see if he could bring a bit of magic to the team going forward. We brought on Jack Walsh, who I thought did very well, but it just didn’t happen on the night and that happens.”
Apart from Rob Slevin, who remains sidelined with a back injury, and Josh Honohan, who is recovering from a knee problem, Healy will have a full squad to choose from against Adrian Carberry’s side.
“Slev is still out,” he said.
“Josh Honohan is doing a bit of training, but everybody else is going to be okay.”
The Cabinteely game saw Steven Beattie make his competitive return in a City shirt, playing at right-back. Healy is careful not to over-burden the Dublin native after he missed some of pre-season.
“To be fair, Beats has been out a small bit in pre-season with a hamstring, a knee injury,” he said.
“He’s only back into training with the last week or two, so I need to be careful that I don’t expect too much from him.
“He played against Cabinteely the other night and he did well – the more games and training sessions he has, the better.
“It’s probably too early for me to say whether he’ll play higher up the pitch, at the moment he’s right-back and he’s doing okay there.”