Caulfield not taking winning start for granted

16th November 2023

SSE Airtricity League reporter Andrew Horgan was at Cork City's pre-match press conference to catch up with manager John Caulfield... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SSE Airtricity League reporter Andrew Horgan was at Cork City's pre-match press conference to catch up with manager John Caulfield...


Cork City manager John Caulfield has insisted his side cannot afford to take any team for granted this season as they look to end their wait for a SSE Airtricity League title.

Caulfield, who marked his 100th league game in charge with a win on the opening night against Finn Harps, has finished runners up to Dundalk in each of his last three seasons.

And speaking to reporters at the clubs training ground ahead of their home clash against Galway United on Friday evening, the City boss admitted every single point is important for his side as they look to win their first league title in 12 years.

“We have no doubt the most important thing for us is that we have to be ready, Galway will be a huge threat and we will need to be careful because you can’t take anybody for granted in this league,” enthused Caulfield.

“If you look at the last three years since we’ve been involved, you can only look to drop a maximum of 10 to 15 points over a season which shows you how tight it is.

“If you look at our record over the last three years, we’ve only lost 14 games. I think the season before we came in we lost 13 league games in one season.

“If you lose even 4 games you probably won’t win the league, the fine margins are that tight every week, every game and every point is crucial, it’s going to be a real gruelling season.”

The Leesiders have started the season in promising form, retaining the Presidents Cup with a convincing win over title rivals Dundalk before securing a hard fought three points away to Finn Harps.

Caulfield’s charges start their home campaign on Friday night when they welcome Shane Keegan’s Galway side to Turners Cross and the former Cork striker is hoping for a big crowd to ensure their winning run can continue against an attacking United side.

“After winning last week going into the first home game of the season, we will be hoping for a big crowd Friday,” added the 52-year old.

“The crowd seem to have taken to the team since the cup victory and know this is an exciting team.

“If you look at the history of the club you get periods where things are down and things aren’t going well.

“Then there are periods where things are good and at the moment I think as a supporter this is a really good team to watch.

“Their exciting, creative and score goals so we need out supporters particularly in the home game where teams are coming to Cork hoping for a 1-0. The more passion and support we get on the side-lines can make all the difference.

“They (Galway) have some very good players and they are a very good attacking team, it’s a big challenge because Galway’s a big club, wouldn’t be as big as us but it has a lot of potential.

“(Vinny) Flaherty up to has got a lot of goals in his career, good player, Ronan Murrays come in from England good player as well, we watched him a few times he’s a really creative player and a goal threat.

“They have (Gary) Shanahan on the wing, (Padraic) Cunningham and (Kevin) Devaney they have two wingers with lots of pace and lots of strength so from going forward they have lots of options.

“They also have Gavan Holohan, who we know from last year, he’s an attacking type of midfielder. We saw their game last weekend against Drogheda and they could have been 3 or 4 goals up at half time so we have no doubt that we need to be ready.”

Cork City have injury concerns going into the game with Stephen Beattie and Stephen Dooley struggling with knocks whilst defender Alan Bennett has returned to full training but they will be without Garry Buckley, who was dismissed in the win over Harps.