Cork City will look to reverse a two-game losing streak in the league when they welcome St Patrick’s Athletic to Turner’s Cross on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm).
City followed up a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Dundalk two weeks ago with a 3-1 home defeat to Shamrock Rovers seven days ago.
A solitary goal from Dan Casey wasn’t enough for the Rebel Army last week as a brace from Aaron McEneff and one from Sean Kavanagh saw the Hoops to victory.
John Caulfield’s side have won just one of their four home league games this year, and they’ll face a tough test from a St Patrick’s Athletic fresh from their 1-0 win over Dundalk.
It was Pats who inflicted City’s first loss of the season on the opening day as Mikey Drennan scored the game’s only goal at Richmond Park.
“As a management team, we’ve suffered defeats before,” Caulfield told the club’s official website.
“We’ve been in situations where we’ve had a couple of weeks not go right. Ultimately, you have to get back and get players ready.
“The lads are disappointed, but now the most important game is Friday.
“Pats had a tremendous win last weekend. They’re a very experienced team but they brought in a lot of new players this year – Forrester, Brennan, Shaw, Clifford, McCabe.
“They’re certainly looking to challenge for the league or to be in Europe, and they’re on track for that.”
Daire O’Connor and Colm Horgan miss out with injury, while James Tilley is suspended, but Matthew Gillam returns while Darragh Crowley, Cian Bargary and Cian Murphy have been promoted from the under-19s.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC
The Saints travel to Cork City in confidence following a shock 1-0 win over champions Dundalk at Richmond Park last week.
Harry Kenny’s side got eight points from their first four games but suffered three defeats on the bounce afterwards before overcoming the Lilywhites.
An own goal from Dan Cleary in first-half injury time did the damage with striker Mikey Drennan – who has scored all of Pats’ goals so far – suspended.
Drennan scored the only goal when Pats met Cork on the opening day but he continues to miss out after picking up a three-match ban for his sending-off against Bohemians.
"The win over Dundalk was great and I was delighted for the players as they really worked hard to get that result,” Kenny told the club’s media team.
“There was a great togetherness from everyone between players and supporters. We played reasonably well when we had the ball and we were very solid at the back.
"Cork were very difficult opponents for us earlier in the season. Turner's Cross is a hostile place and a difficult place to get a result.
“From our point of view, we need to replicate last week's performance. We need play with the same tempo that we did against Dundalk [and] play with the same composure
“If we perform like we did last week though, I'd be confident we can come away with something.
“I'd like to think we have that bit of confidence back and hopefully that will lead to us picking up a result on Friday."
Drennan sits the game out but Dean Clarke has recovered from a concussion, while Brandon Miele will face a late fitness test.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.
The sides have met once so far this season, as Mikey Drennan’s goal gave the Saints a 1-0 win on the opening day at Richmond Park.
The sides met four times in the league last year as City took ten points from 12, the only blip a 1-1 draw at Turner’s Cross in August.
Cork City 11/10; Draw 2/1; St Patrick’s Athletic 13/5.
Cork City 1 – 1 St Patrick’s Athletic
Injured: Colm Horgan, Daire O’Connor.
Suspended: James Tilley.
St Patrick’s Athletic
Doubtful: Brandon Miele.
Suspended: Mikey Drennan.