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Cork Independent


Tough task as City face Dundalk

Wednesday, 4th September, 2019 4:40pm

Cork City FC face an uphill battle in the latter stages of this year’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division after suffering a last minute 2-1 loss to Waterford FC last Monday.

It was the second match in a row that newly appointed manager Neale Fenn has lost, both at Turner’s Cross, after City suffered a 4-2 loss to Sligo Rovers last Friday night.

With just seven league matches remaining this season, City are on the road on Friday night facing a huge task against league leaders Dundalk at Oriel Park while Derry, Bohemians, Dundalk again, and Shamrock Rovers are all still to come, as well as crucial matches against Finn Harps and UCD, the two teams placed below City at present in the table in the relegation play-off spots.

Fenn pulled no punches in his post-Waterford press conference, saying: “I feel sick. The game was there for us, I felt that we were going to see it out and, again, we just conceded some bad goals and obviously lost the game. I’m sick of talking about positives, I think we need to get down to the negatives and sort it out. The defending is shocking and I think for the six goals we’ve conceded in my two games, there was just shocking defending all over.”

Having been in the job for just over a week, Fenn has yet to get a run of proper training sessions in with his team but was perplexed at the level of defending.

“We gave the ball away, they didn’t even win it. The first goal, a free header six yards out? That’s criminal defending. You’re taught that as a young kid, you mark someone in the box, you don’t leave anyone free, that’s just basic stuff.

“The lads are where they are in the league ‘cause of whatever reason, whether it’s just that they’re not good enough, whether it’s that they’re low in confidence, whether they’re not organised, maybe they’re not fit enough - I’m not sure. It’s hard for me to assess it with probably just two training sessions since I got here between games, so it’s been tough.”

With a tough few weeks of matches remaining, Fenn is well aware of the task City face: “We need to win matches, we’re going to Dundalk on Friday and we’ve lost two games in a row.

“We’re going to a team that’s a lot of points clear at the top so it’s not looking good for us, defending like that. They should be able to pick themselves up. A lot of them know it wasn’t good enough but we’ll pick them up again, that’s all we can do is just crack on and move on to the next game.”

Fenn also confirmed that Gearóid Morrissey is still not available with a quad injury, Joel Coustrain pulled up in the pre-match warm-up on Monday, also a quad injury, while Ronan Hurley is back to full fitness. Kick-off at Oriel Park on Friday 6 September is at 7.45pm.

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