Wednesday 11 December 2019

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City hanging on

Wednesday, 9th October, 2019 4:29pm

With three matches to go, it's a case of get it over and done with for Cork City FC for this season.

A dismal year of results sees City third from the bottom in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table, a position they've sat in for large portions of this season. The simple goal now is to try and salvage three good results in the next three weeks and start again for next season.

Welcoming UCD on Friday night to Turner's Cross, boss Neale Fenn will hope to finally break his duck and get his first win as City manager. UCD are in an even grimmer position, bottom of the table with just five wins all year, two less than City, with both teams chasing a morale-boosting win in the closing stages of the league. Mathematically, too, City could still be facing a relegation playoff, so every point at this stage is vital.

Speaking on Friday's match, Fenn said: “It’s a huge game for us, depending on the result at Shamrock Rovers, but we're not overly concerned how are the teams are doing, we just need to concentrate on ourselves and get a result.”

As for getting his first win?

“It's massive, as much as we can say some of the performances have been okay but it’s the win, it’s always going to be the weight around your neck that we need to get that win, so it’s huge that we get a positive result on Friday.

“The boys have trained well this week and I think after Friday's performance it gave us a bit of a lift, not just the fact that we played quite well, we created chances and usually when you’re creating chances you take chances. It was pleasing to me to see that we went close a few times anyway.

“I felt in patches (that) we played well against Sligo, in patches we played well against Waterford; it’s just putting the ball in the net has been a problem - that’s obvious for everyone to see so if we can crack that Friday, we'll be alright. Against Bohs, it was two evenly matched teams, it was just a stroke of luck and a bit of fortune that goes one team’s way and they end up winning it, it could easily have been our luck.”

With City unlikely to be involved in the playoff, unless a serious run of bad results for them and others go against them, Fenn is faced with the difficult task of motivating his players to finish out the energy-sapping season on a high, no easy task considering they have not won a match since August. However the motivation now, Fenn says, is also about players retaining their place on the team next season, with a large cull of players expected in the off-season.

“I suppose the motivation is do they want to play the next game? Do they want to be here next season? That should be a motivation and I’m sure that it will come, I’m confident after (the Bohs game).

“It’s not an easy place to go, Bohs, it’s a tough place to go and create some openings like we did, away and I think it’s good and it just shows that we’re going in the right direction. It’s just putting in the ball in the back of the net and goals change games as we’ve seen, and once you do that, it’s a totally different outlook on it.

“I need to be clear in my own mind what direction we’re going in next season and I need to be clear with them (the players) as well so, more or less, I know who I’m keeping and who is going.

“We have to go out and win, we can’t be relying on any other team to do us a favour. It’s a game that we feel we can win and it’s a game that we can go and give a good account of ourselves. It’s a home game, we haven’t won a home game since I’ve been here, but this is a game that we feel that we can certainly go and win and will be going to do that,” Fenn added.

Cork City face UCD on Friday at Turner's Cross at 7.45pm.

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