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'I'd like to apologise to our fans. It was probably the worst 45 minutes we've had'

Cork City manager John Caulfield apologised to supporters following his side’s 4-2 defeat against Bohemians.

Cork City manager John Caulfield.
Cork City manager John Caulfield.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

JOHN CAULFIELD HAS apologised to Cork City supporters following his side’s disastrous 4-2 defeat away to Bohemians on Friday night, with the result potentially leaving the champions nine points adrift of top spot in the Premier Division.

The Gypsies took a 4-1 lead heading into half-time at Dalymount Park following a poor opening half display from the visitors to the capital, with Damien Delaney’s own goal after 10 minutes setting the tone for a disappointing night for his side.

League leaders Dundalk are currently six points ahead in the race for the title, with Stephen Kenny’s side also having a game in hand. Manager Caulfield admitted that Friday’s loss was one of the worst halves of football under his tenure at the club.

I’d like to apologise to our fans who travelled and our fans at home,” he said. “It was probably the worst 45 minutes that we’ve had.

“We made a lot of mistakes and we gifted goals away, and that’s what’s disappointing. People may say after last week’s win [ 7-0 against Longford Town], did the changes disrupt us, but we still have very established players and good lads. At the moment we had a very bad 45 minutes, so we have to build for next week’s match.”

Delaney’s own goal was compounded by a quick-fire double from Daniel Kelly, before Bohemians captain Derek Pender skipped through the penalty area following an individual run to restore his side’s three goal advantage after Graham Cummins had made it 3-1.

A second-half strike from Jimmy Keohane halved the deficit at 4-2, however Keith Long’s side held firm to record a shock win against the SSE Airtricity League and FAI Cup champions.

I would put it down to the fact that we made incredible mistakes, which is very unlike the lads,” the Cork boss said when asked why his side had succumbed to defeat.

“There is no hiding place and you just have to accept that that’s gone and go back in on Monday and get yourself ready for a big home game next Friday night.

“Bohs are on a very good run and they’ve very good players. They put us under pressure, but at the same time we do think that some of the goals were very soft.”

The champions were without Kieran Sadlier, who scored an impressive hat-trick in their FAI Cup quarter-final against Longford, as well as Gary Buckley. However Caulfield was adamant that injuries were not an excuse for the defeat.

John Caulfield dejected after the game Cork City trail Dundalk by six points, with the Lilywhites also having a game in hand. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“It was disappointing the week that was in it. After last week, we were looking to build a bit of momentum. But look, all the players that played are established in our league. A lot of them have been a part of the historic team that we’ve had winning back-to-back FAI Cups, doubles.

Some of the new players [brought] a lot of experience and have played in our league, so the team we put out was still full of top guys. You’ll always miss players with a few injuries, so there is no excuse from our point of view.

“We still had a team good enough to perform. Bohs played really well and I’d like to congratulate them, but at the same time a lot of our players know we didn’t do well tonight.”

When asked if a potential nine point gap was too big to overcome with five games remaining in the Premier Division, Caulfield said: “Our league form over the last couple of games has been poor.

“The most important thing for us is getting back to putting in performances. We’re at home next week [against Dundalk] and we just need to get three points on the board.”

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Aaron Gallagher

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