John Caulfield - We need to score first to see can we open the game up

Tue, Aug 14 2018

With league action put for the time being on the back burner, it is a big week for Cork City. They got by the first hurdle in the FAI Cup last Sunday but on Thursday they face a big challenge in their Europa League qualifier as they trail Rosenburg 2-0 after the first leg at Turner’s Cross.

Cork City manager John Caulfield was happy with what he saw during his sides 5-1 rout of Home Farm in the first round of the FAI Cup on Sunday having made no less than ten changes from the side that played Rosenborg in the first leg last week. 

“The attitude from the lads especially in the first half was excellent,” siad Caulfield speaking to the media after the match on Sunday. “In these games you need to prepare properly and start well and that’s exactly what the lads did.

“The lads who came in off the bench were also eager to show what they could do and did well. Against a non-league side, the ideal situation to be in is to have the game wrapped up by half time and we did that.

"The subs can then get a run and the players who are lacking game time and when they did come on they did extremely well.

“It was good to have such a large squad to be in the position to be able to do that. It’s so important when you are making so many changes that you get the balance right and don’t make too many changes.

"I think we got that spot on and I’m very happy with how the lads who came in today did during the game.”

City currently sit top of the league, two points clear of Dundalk albeit having played two games more. In the second round of the FAI Cup, City will face Maynooth University Town at home.

Key players in the squad are returning from injury at just the right time, young players are being blooded into the squad and getting a taste of football at one of the biggest clubs in the country.

“Pierce Phillips got his first start today and he did well. He is a good young lad, we have high hopes for him and he took his chance well. Gearoid Morrisey has been out injured for a while and the 55 minutes today will do him good as well as returning to full training. 

“Kieran Sadlier came back in as well and he’s starting to pick up form again now as well so overall it’s good for those guys to come in and do that. We are very satisfied for the moment but must turn our focus towards Thursday now quickly and a big game in Europe.”

It is a tough task that awaits city on Thursday when Caulfield’s men have a mountain to climb in the Europa League. Having succumbed to a 2-0 home defeat to Rosenborg in the first leg, a big battle awaits them in Norway to see if they can overturn that two goal defecit.

“We know heading into Thursday we have to play for the next goal. If we get a goal the tie is back on but they can also sit back and force the play on the counter attack which we need to be aware of as well.

“From our point of view we are going out there with a plan to see can we score, we know it is going to be very difficult but you never know. We need to score first to see can we open the game up and that’s exactly what we will be trying to do.

“With the Irish clubs in Europe, it’s difficult to progress especially against teams who have bigger budgets and playing possibly at a higher level but we caused them problems at home and had our chances so we’ll just have to wait and see.”