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'We just need to look at ourselves and get as many points on the board as we can'

Gearoid Morrissey expects more twists and turns in another title race between Cork City and Dundalk.

Cork City midfielder Gearoid Morrissey.
Cork City midfielder Gearoid Morrissey.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

ONLY SEVEN ROUNDS of fixtures remain in the 2018 SSE Airtricity League Premier Division campaign, but much can change between now and the end of the season.

That’s the message from Cork City midfielder Gearoid Morrissey, as his side prepare to continue their pursuit of leaders Dundalk.

City, who trail the Lilywhites by three points, welcome eighth-placed Sligo Rovers to Turner’s Cross this evening.

The defending champions coasted to victory over Maynooth University Town in the FAI Cup last weekend, but their hopes of a successful title defence were dented in their last league outing when they had to conjure up a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with St Patrick’s Athletic.

However, City were boosted earlier this week when Dundalk’s 13-game winning streak was brought to a halt by Shamrock Rovers, who were 2-1 winners at Oriel Park.

Irrespective of how the title race concludes, the top two will consist of Cork City and Dundalk for the fifth successive season. Stephen Kenny’s side were champions for three years in a row before being dethroned by John Caulfield’s men in 2017.

“In my experience of challenging for the league in the last few years, there are always twists,” said influential midfielder Morrissey, who recently returned from a groin injury he picked up in the first leg of City’s Champions League tie against Legia Warsaw.

“It’s never as simple as what’s laid out in front of you. There are always ups and downs, twists and turns. I think it would be really naive for anybody to be saying or thinking ‘that’s it’, or that we should concentrate on the cup.

“We just need to look at ourselves and get as many points on the board as we can. That’s all we’ll be thinking about. We’re not looking at anybody else or caring about what they do. It’s all about us winning every game from now until the end. That’s all we can do.”

Sligo Rovers have picked up some good results at Turner’s Cross over the past few seasons, winning 1-0 there just over 12 months ago. Gerard Lyttle’s side will be hoping for something similar as they aim to bounce back from their 2-0 defeat to Dundalk a fortnight ago.

Also on the rebound, Dundalk travel to second-from-bottom Limerick on the back of Tuesday’s loss to Shamrock Rovers. Limerick have an FAI Cup quarter-final against the Lilywhites to look forward to next week, but they look doomed to a relegation play-off in the league.

Buoyed by their victory at Oriel Park, Shamrock Rovers will expect to nudge basement club Bray Wanderers a step closer to First Division football for 2019 when the teams meet at the Carlisle Grounds.

In a meeting of fifth versus seventh, Derry City host Bohemians, which will be a dress rehearsal of their upcoming meeting in the last eight of the FAI Cup.

Tonight’s other Premier Division game sees third-placed Waterford travel to sixth-placed St Patrick’s Athletic, with the Blues eager to pick up points after Shamrock Rovers narrowed their cushion to a single point in the race for a guaranteed Europa League spot.

In the First Division tonight, a win away to Drogheda United will see UCD crowned champions if Finn Harps drop points at home to Galway United.

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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