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'The games are so big now; the adrenaline will be there and every player will want to play'

Cork boss John Caulfield has urged his side to make one final push ahead of the season’s climax.

John Caulfield is hoping his side can lift the FAI Cup for the second successive year.
John Caulfield is hoping his side can lift the FAI Cup for the second successive year.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

CORK BOSS JOHN Caulfield has urged his side to make one final push amid a crucial few days for the Leesiders.

Monday’s draw with Dundalk means the league leaders’ prospective title celebrations have been put on hold for now, though they could be confirmed as league champions if they beat Derry at Turner’s Cross next week.

This evening, however, Cork’s main focus will be a home FAI Cup semi-final against Limerick, as they bid to claim the trophy for a second consecutive season.

When the teams met at Markets Field just a week ago, the hosts emerged as surprise 2-1 winners, though the Rebels will be confident of gaining revenge for that loss, particularly having beaten Limerick on three other occasions this season — twice in the league and once in the EA Sports Cup.

“The performance on Monday night was the kind of performance that we have given for most of the season,” Caulfield said. “That is our level and we can do that, so for the remainder of the season we need to keep it up and kick on. Some of the lads might have lost a little bit of form but Monday night proved that we are back on track and that is what we needed.

The games are so big now; the adrenaline will be there and every player will want to play. This is an opportunity to get to a cup final; we have been in the last two and we are the holders, so we want to get to the Aviva again. We are at home, with our supporters behind us, and we are determined to get back to the Aviva.

“Last Friday night (against Limerick) will have no bearing on this game. It is a cup game, a one-off with a trip to the Aviva for the winners. We know the team they will play and we know what they are about. If we concede and let them play on the counter-attack, we will be in trouble. We need to play like we did on Monday, with our intensity and trying to get ahead. I think Monday will give us confidence, as will being at home; it’s a semi-final, it’s the cup we won last year and it is a chance to go to the Aviva.”

In addition to long-term absentees Johnny Dunleavy and Alec Byrne, Cork have a number of injury worries ahead of the game, with Steven Beattie, Kieran Sadlier, Alan Bennett and Stephen Dooley all doubtful.

Limerick, meanwhile, come into the match in decent form, having won four and lost just one of their previous six matches in all competitions.

Neil McDonald’s side are competing in a first FAI Cup semi-final since 1994, while a win would hand them a spot in the final for the first time since they last won the competition in 1982.

The game kicks off at 7.15pm tonight and will be shown live on RTÉ 2.

Predictions

Every week, we’re giving readers the chance to take us on in predicting the Premier Division results. After Week 26, here are the standings:

The42: 74
The Readers: 76

Next up is Galway United fan Julian Canny

The Reader (Julian Canny

  • Derry v Drogheda – Derry win
  • Cork v Limerick – Cork win
  • Dundalk v Shamrock Rovers – Dundalk win

The42 (Paul Fennessy)

  • Derry v Drogheda – Draw
  • Cork v Limerick – Cork win
  • Dundalk v Shamrock Rovers – Dundalk win

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