LOI Digest: Cork look to bounce back against Hoops

2018-03-12 07:38:06

Cork City v Shamrock Rovers

Cork City welcome Shamrock Rovers to Turner’s Cross, as they look to bounce back quickly from Friday’s defeat to Dundalk.

Friday’s defeat saw City drop points for the first time this season, having recorded three consecutive wins prior to that. City’s sole outing at Turner’s Cross up to now saw them record a 2-0 win over Waterford.

Rovers meanwhile come into the game on the back of two six goal wins. The Hoops made a real statement of intent with a 6-1 victory over Derry City on Friday, while the beat Bray Wanderers 6-0 in the game before that.

Manager Stephen Bradley will be aware however that Rovers have only won at home so far this season.

Team news

Cork: Mark McNulty and Alan Bennett will both be assessed prior to kick-off, while Josh O’Hanlon is expected to return to the squad. Johnny Dunleavy is not yet back in contention.

Shamrock Rovers: The visitors will leave it late to assess Ethan Boyle, who picked up a bad knock on his ankle on Friday. They will also take a look for Greg Bolger, who continues to recover from injury.

Gaffer talk

John Caulfield (Cork City): "Rovers are title contenders; they’ve scored six in their last two games and they are flying, so we need a passionate, hostile atmosphere and we need to play well. Rovers is a massive club and they have brought in a lot of new players, as well as keeping the bulk of last year’s team."

"It is a massive game for us with another vital three points on offer. We need to be on our game ad we need that massive support from the crowd, which has always been there. It will be a difficult game and we need to bounce back."

Stephen Bradley (Shamrock Rovers): "Cork have some good players, they’re a good side but we’ll go there full of confidence and ready to go and try and win the game. We’ve got to go and play the way we play.

"We know they’re the champions and they did the double last year, it’ll be a big crowd and a tough game but we believe that we can go anywhere and cause problems and create chances. Tomorrow night will be no different."

Derry City v Limerick

Derry City make their long awaited return to the Brandywell and will be desperate to rebound from a 6-1 hammering away to Shamrock Rovers on Friday.

The Candystripes can finally return home after spending last season at Maginn Park as the Brandywell was redeveloped and some teething problems this season saw them forced to play their first four games away from home.

Limerick for their part will be eager to play the role of party poopers and come into the game on the back of a 1-0 win over bottom side Bray.

Team news

Derry City: City are without seven players due to injury.

Limerick: When available

Gaffer talk

Kenny Shiels (Derry): "We have something now that we can call ours even if we don't own the actual facility and it's an exciting period of history for the club," Shiels told BBC Northern Ireland.

"The players will especially want to give the fans a win on Monday night.

"Even though we were defeated heavily by Shamrock Rovers there were a lot of good moments in the game where we matches them, our younger players especially.

Tommy Barrett (Limerick): When available

St Patrick's Athletic v Dundalk

St Pat's welcome Dundalk to Inchicore on the back of a morale boosting Dublin derby victory over Bohemians on Friday.

The Saints got the better of Bohs thanks to an early goal from Dean Clarke while the visitors claimed an even more impressive 1-0 win at home to Champions Cork.

The win leaves Dundalk as the only unbeaten team in the league after just four games. It's a record they'll be looking to extend, along with their four game run of clean sheets.

Gaffer/player talk

Liam Buckley (St Pat's): "Our focus since late Friday night has been on recovery and preparing for another tough game.

"Dundalk will travel to Inchicore in good spirits off the back of a good win against Cork last Friday. Stephen Kenny has again put a good squad of players together and we know that they are going to be up there again challenging for the league title."

Dane Masey (Dundalk): "Confidence is flying now, but it’s only three points at the end of the day. It’s another clean sheet as well which is a big confidence boost for the back four and the goalkeeper.

"To keep four clean sheets is great. We’ve competition all over the back four. If you’re in there, you have to be at the top of your game to keep your jersey. Fair play to Gary Rogers as well - he pulled out another big save tonight as well.

"We’ve got a quick turnaround to Pats now which is good. We’ve a big enough squad to deal with it and good enough players to come in, so we’re looking forward to it."

Team news

St Pat's: The Saints remain without the services of Killian Brennan through injury, while Jamie Lennon will face a late fitness test before the game.

Dundalk: John Mountney remains the only absentee for Dundalk as he recovers from his medial knee operation however he is nearing a return.

Waterford v Bohemians

High-flying Waterford will be hoping to continue their fine early season form when they welcome  Bohemians to the RSC.

The newly promoted side sit level on points with league leaders Cork City and claimed a credible 2-1 victory away to Sligo Rovers on Friday. But a bug has hit the camp over the weekend, ruling four more key players out.

Bohemians come into the game on the back of a derby defeat to St Pat's and after making a major statement with an opening day win over fierce rivals Shamrock Rovers, they have yet to win another game.

Team news

Waterford: Dean O’Halloran is again ruled out through the injury sustained against St. Patrick's Athletic two weeks ago and is joined by fellow striker Izzy Akinade who missed Friday night's clash with Sligo Rovers. Bastien Héry was forced off on Friday following a collision in midfield.

The Frenchman has not recovered in time to play a part in this one but Faysel Kasmi is back in contention following recovery from an ankle injury.

Rory Feely, Garry Comerford, Dean Walsh and Gavan Holohan have all suffered from illness over the weekend and have been ruled out for Monday's clash as a result.

Bohemians: When available

Gaffer talk

Alan Reynolds (Waterford): "I was delighted with the character that the lads showed on Friday in Sligo because we were under pressure in the second half but we kept on battling. Courtney Duffus is a player that I really like and I was thrilled that he showed the quality that we know he has with the winning goal. It was a super strike from him and hopefully this will help his confidence.

"To have nine points at this stage is great but I told the players our performances will have to be better than that against Sligo moving on.

"I am sure we will play like that in the future and get beaten. It looks like we will be without Izzy Akinade, Bastien Héry and Gavan Holohan for the game due to injury so we’ll need the other lads to step up to the plate. Hopefully they can."

Keith Long (Bohemians): When available

Bray Wanderers v Sligo Rovers

Bray Wanderers are propping up the league table without a win to their name and Sligo Rovers could inflict further punishment when they visit the Carlisle Grounds.

A 1-0 defeat to Limerick on Friday was at least an improvement on the 6-0 hammering inflicted by Shamrock Rovers but Bray need to start putting points on the board if they're to avoid losing touch at the bottom.

For Sligo this is their first away game of the season and they too are in need of a win with just three points from their opening four games.

Team news

Bray Wanderers: When available.

Sligo Rovers: Patrick McClean is absent with a hamstring injury. Regan Donelon is also doubtful with a hamstring problem.

Gary Boylan is also an uncertain participant due to an illness which kept him out of the match with Waterford, while Rhys McCabe returns from suspension.

Gaffer talk

Harry Kenny (Bray Wanderers): When available

Gerard Lyttle (Sligo Rovers): We got confidence from how we played in the second half against Waterford and I want that for 90 minutes, which I know we can produce, and it will win us games.

"Bray were very compact against Limerick and tried to play on the break. I expect them to come out a little more being at home. It's fair to say both teams really want the points on the back of the results so far.

"I think we are looking forward to an away game if I'm honest. We need the change of scenery after the way the games have transpired.

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