Tuesday 19 June 2018

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Sport

Snow clears for City return

Wednesday, 7th March, 2018 3:00pm

Cork City face Dundalk this Friday as the Airtricity Premier Division clubs return to action following last week’s snow-in.

City have four wins from four so far this season, including a 4-2 victory over Friday’s opponents in the President’s Cup clash last month, a game which saw City stage a second half comeback from 2-0 down. Storm Emma saw last week’s clash against Bohemians postponed, leaving John Caulfield’s side fresh to face last season’s league runners-up.

“The extra days off were welcome in some ways,” Caulfield admitted. “Since the season started we’ve had a full-on fixture list, so it’s definitely given us a chance to recover a bit. It dragged on a bit in the end perhaps but all teams were affected. Most had their games off and struggled to train like ourselves. We’ve had a chance to sit back and enjoy the snow, and we’re back on track again now.”

City have no new injury concerns ahead of Friday’s game, with striker Josh O’Hanlon back in training this week but not expected to be match fit for this week.

Striker Graham Cummins, who was suspended for City’s match against Waterford, returned to the lineup in last Monday’s 4-1 away win over Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds.

The early-season face-off between least season’s top two would be important, Caulfield assured, but he added that no result either way would be definitive towards the context of the league.

“The league is a marathon. This is our fourth league game, there’s still a very long way to go so, although it’s good to have last year’s top two positions up against each other, it won’t determine anything yet as such.”

Caulfield said he expects to face an improved Dundalk team, with some first-team players returning and the addition of some new faces: “It’ll be a very competitive game. They have (defender Brian) Gatland back since last week, (midfielder and captain) Stephen O’Donnell as well you’d expect to see coming back into the team. They’ve added well, players like (striker Ronan) Murray from Galway and (midfielder) Krisztián Adorján, who came through on Liverpool’s books. They’ll be a stronger, more physical team than they would have been the last time, so we’ll be expecting that.”

Dundalk, who are also unbeaten in the league so far this season, bounced back from two goalless draws in their opening games by cruising to a landslide 8-0 win at home to Limerick last Tuesday.

City’s win over Sligo, meanwhile, maintained their 100 per cent start to the season, and they head into Friday’s clash top of the table.

Cork City vs Dundalk kicks off at 8pm at Oriel Park this Friday.

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