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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 15 May 2021

'If someone said you'd be within two points of winning the league, you'd have taken their hand off'

Cork City boss John Caulfield was disappointed to concede late to Dundalk last night, but he is proud of how his side performed.

Caulfield applauding the crowd last night.
Caulfield applauding the crowd last night.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

CORK CITY MAY not be over the line just yet, but manager John Caulfield was pleased with last night’s display in the 1-1 draw at home to Dundalk.

6,983 fans turned up to Turner’s Cross, many hoping to see the Leesiders secure a first SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title in 12 years.

Things appeared to be going to plan when a Brian Gartland own goal handed them the lead in the first half, but Robbie Benson’s 87th-minute equaliser put the title celebrations on hold for the time being.

And while he was wasn’t happy to see his team concede late on, the City boss expressed his satisfaction with the overall performance.

“I think we have to put it into context,” Caulfield said post-match. “Dundalk have won the league for the last three years. We’ve come along to see if we can try to win it this year, and put our energy into it.

“The league goes on to the end of October and we have a little bit of disappointment because we gave away a soft goal and it was probably their only real chance in the game.

“It was an absolute phenomenal performance by the team. At half-time, we were disappointed with the scoreline because Gary Rogers had made a fantastic save and Jimmy Keohane had an excellent chance but overall we played really, really well.”

He added: “Our pace and movement was fantastic. At the end of the day, are we disappointed? We are to concede at the end but last Friday night we needed five points to win the league, now we need two and everything is within our control.

The most important thing for me is that the boys who had been questioned over the last four or five weeks got back to a Cork City performance tonight. When you restrict Dundalk to no chances bar a scrappy goal at the end, it showed that we were back to our best.”

With Cork’s home league fixture against Derry City, originally due to be played on Saturday, 7 October, rescheduled for Monday 16 October due to international U21 call-ups, their next opportunity to clinch the title will be away to Bohemians at Dalymount Park on Friday, 13 October.

Next up, however, is an FAI Cup semi-final tie with Limerick this Friday.

“Let’s be positive, we haven’t won a league in 12 years,” he added. “If someone told you at the start of the season that by the end of September you would be within two points of winning the league, you’d have taken their hand off. With four games to go, we just have to manage it now at this stage.”

Source: Cork City FC/SoundCloud

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Cork City’s title celebrations put on hold as Dundalk dig out late equaliser

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Ben Blake

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