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Dublin: 2°C Sunday 11 April 2021

'No hunger, no drive, no passion — what this club has been built on'

Interim Cork City manager John Cotter expressed his disappointment after their loss to Derry City.

John Cotter Interim Cork City manager John Cotter pictured before last night's defeat to Derry City. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

JOHN COTTER TOOK aim at his Cork City players after seeing them comprehensively beaten at home to Derry City last night in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.

Having assisted David Parkhouse’s early opener, Junior Ogede-Uzokwe helped himself to a hat-trick as Derry eased to a 4-1 victory at Turner’s Cross.

Graham Cummins scored a late consolation goal for Cork in what was likely to have been his final appearance for the club before finalising a move to Shamrock Rovers.

The Leesiders have struggled from the outset this season, but last night’s defeat — their biggest at home since May 2010 — was undoubtedly a low point. Their woes were compounded by a second yellow card shown to Daire O’Connor on 59 minutes.

Despite a six-week gap since the club’s last home outing, a crowd of just 2,302 turned up to see Cork City extend their winless run to five games in all competitions.

“First and foremost, there was no hunger, no drive, no passion — what this club has been built on over the years,” said Cotter, who took temporary charge of Cork following the departure of John Caulfield in May.

Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe celebrates scoring three goals Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe was Derry City's hat-trick hero at Turner's Cross. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“That’s not just in the last five or six years since I’ve been here, that’s since I was coming here as a supporter when I was a kid. The club was built on it. It’s been lacking, to be honest, and that’s the worrying thing.

“That’s not good enough from anyone. It’s something we demand from them every day. Something like that, you have to provide that from within as well. That’s a personal thing. We’ve explained that to the players and I’ve told them how I feel about that. People need to take a look at themselves and pick themselves up again.”

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For the past five seasons, Cork City haven’t finished outside the top two. They were defending champions last year but now languish in seventh place. Waterford, who are a point behind in eighth, have three games in hand.

“It was great a few years ago here when we were winning trophies, but it’s in times like this when you want to show how much you care and how much it means to you,” Cotter said.

“That’s when you properly show the hunger and passion you have for the club. I think the club and the supporters deserve that, and the city as a whole. It’s just lacking at the minute.” 

On Monday, Cork City make the long journey north to face Finn Harps who — despite sitting second from bottom in the table — will be buoyed by last night’s 2-0 win over Sligo Rovers. 

Graham Cummins and Eoin Toal Cork City's Graham Cummins tangles with Eoin Toal of Derry City. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Cotter said: “We have no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We need to pick ourselves up for Monday and go up to a hard place. That’s a place where you have to show that hunger and passion, because Finn Harps demand that as well. You have to match that and outdo them that way. We just have to pick a team that we think will do that.”

He added: “I know I don’t need anyone to motivate me to get up and do my job, and never did. I just hope these players realise how lucky they are to be playing for a club like this, one of the biggest clubs in the country with the best support in the country.

“Players need to realise that at the club you’re playing for, you need to have that. That’s not just the players who have been signed, that’s the players who have been here for a long time and have won a lot of things in this club. Players need to realise what it takes to play for this club and they need to learn fast. That’s what we’re demanding.”

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Paul Dollery

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