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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 29 February, 2020

'He's come from an unbelievable level so it's really exciting to have him'

Gearoid Morrissey is eagerly looking forward to playing alongside Damien Delaney at Cork City.

Damien Delaney featured for Cork City in their friendly against Portsmouth earlier this week.
Damien Delaney featured for Cork City in their friendly against Portsmouth earlier this week.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CORK CITY COULD have Damien Delaney in their side tomorrow when they aim to bounce back from a 2-1 defeat to Dundalk in last weekend’s top-of-the-table clash.

After his signing was confirmed by the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division champions last month, Delaney is eligible to feature for the visit of Shamrock Rovers to Turner’s Cross following the opening of the transfer window at the beginning of July.

The former Republic of Ireland international is now in his second spell with his hometown club. Having departed for Leicester City in 2000, he has returned to Leeside after a six-year stint at English Premier League outfit Crystal Palace, who he left in May.

The fitness of the 36-year-old defender, who played just over an hour of a 4-1 defeat to Portsmouth in a friendly on Monday, will be assessed ahead of kick-off tomorrow night, but Gearoid Morrissey is eagerly looking forward to sharing the pitch with City’s newest addition.

The midfielder said: “He’s constantly giving information and I suppose dictating from his position. You’d hear him all over the pitch when we’re training. He’s a quality player, he’s come from an unbelievable level so it’s really exciting to have him onboard.”

City released their grip on top spot in dramatic circumstances last Friday, when Sean McLoughlin’s own goal in injury time sent Dundalk back to the summit at Oriel Park.

Chris Shields and Gearoid Morrissey Gearoid Morrissey in pursuit of Dundalk's Chris Shields during Cork City's 2-1 defeat last Friday. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

John Caulfield’s side will be keen to deliver an emphatic response but it won’t be easy against Rovers. The last meeting of the sides — in Tallaght last April — ended in a 3-0 win for the Hoops, who go into tomorrow night’s game on the back of three consecutive victories.

“The next game can’t come quickly enough,” Morrissey said. “It’s tough to take when you have a big game like that [against Dundalk] and you come out on the wrong side of it. We can’t wait to put it behind us and move on. We’re looking forward to having a reaction on Friday.”

Morrissey also insisted that City won’t be tempted to avert their gaze by looking ahead to the beginning of their Champions League campaign on Tuesday, when Polish champions Legia Warsaw visit Turner’s Cross for the first leg of their first round qualifier.

He said: “You look at the team you’re playing but John [Caulfield] drives it home that the next game is the biggest, so we actually don’t mention it. The lads might mention it the odd time over lunch or something but it hasn’t been mentioned on the training ground. It won’t be mentioned until we’re actually coming up to play them and then we’ll do our homework and prepare properly for that.

“The next game is the only game so we won’t even look until it’s time.”

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Paul Dollery

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