Cork City will look to bounce back from a 4-1 home defeat to Derry City as they travel the length of Ireland to face a Finn Harps side fresh from a 2-0 win over Sligo Rovers (kick-off 8pm).
Harps manager Ollie Horgan had looked for his side to kickstart their season after the midseason break and they responded to that call by exacting a comfortable win over Sligo.
That win moved the Donegal side off the foot of the table, albeit they have played three more games than UCD.
“It was great to get three points against Sligo on Friday but none of us are getting carried away with that result,” Horgan told finnharps.ie.
“We’ll need a decent run in the second half of the season to be in with any chance of staying up. The lads put in a huge shift on Friday night.
”There was plenty of sore bodies on Saturday so we’ll see how the recovery goes for them.”
Horgan is all set for a Cork side who will be aiming to wipe the memories of the Derry defeat away with a win in Ballybofey.
“Cork will be a big test for us. That defeat at home against Derry will have been a big blow to them and they will come to Finn Park determined to get the win. So we have to be ready for that.”
Harps will once again have to do without Ciaran Gallagher, John Kavanagh and Michael Gallagher. Niall Logue, who was forced to sit out the Sligo game, is doubtful for Monday night’s game.
Having suffered a 4-1 defeat to Derry City on Friday, Cork City travel 410km to face Finn Harps on Monday as they hope to record their first win in over a month.
Head coach John Cotter, taking sole charge for the final time before Stuart Ashton’s arrival, is confident his players have the character to put the defeat behind them and focus on getting the win in Donegal.
“We had another chat this morning,” Cotter told the club’s website.
“They did their recovery yesterday and we trained this morning. These players have been brilliant. Most of them have been here for a number of years.
“I know their characters and their personalities, and I know they will respond in the right way on Monday.
“That is exactly what you would be looking for. In times like these, you need people to respond and show what guts and character we know they have.”
Harps drew 1-1 with Cork City in Turners Cross with the previous game in Ballybofey resulting in a 4-3 win for the Rebel Army.
Cotter is aware how tough Ollie Horgan’s team can be to play against and is expecting another battle on Monday.
“Finn Park is one of the hardest places you can go to. They are a proper League of Ireland club and Ollie Horgan and Paul Hegarty have done an incredible job with them.
“We have been up there a number of times over the last few years and we have nearly always come away with one nils.
“This year was a high scoring affair, but it was a game that was in the balance right to the end. We are under no illusions that it will be a tough game.
“You have to work and have the right attitude to compete with Harps. I have no doubt we will do that and, hopefully, we will come away with the three points.”
Cian Bargary, Cian Murphy, Shane Griffin and Pierce Phillips all miss out through injury, while Daire O’Connor misses out through suspension.
Referee: John McLoughlin
Cork City have only scored 19 goals so far this season. Finn Harps have scored one more than the Rebel Army. They have 20 goals from the 23 games played.
Cork City’s 4-3 win over Harps this season was the first time the Rebel Army scored four goals away to the Donegal side in the league. Prior to that, they most away goals they had managed was two.
The most goals Harps have scored away in the league to Cork City was two. They did that in 2011 but on the day Cork City netted five.
Cork City’s biggest league win over Harps is 5-0 which they inflicted twice – in the 2011 and 2017 season. Harps biggest win over the Rebel Army was a 2-1 win in the 1997-98 season.
The teams have met 36 times in the League of Ireland. Cork City have won 26 times. They have drawn eight times with Harps only registering two wins.
Finn Harps 13/5; Draw 23/10; Sligo Rovers Evens
Finn Harps 1 – 1 Cork City
Injured: Ciaran Gallagher, John Kavanagh, Michael Gallagher
Doubtful: Niall Logue
Injured: Cian Bargary, Cian Murphy, Shane Griffin, Pierce Phillips
Suspended: Daire O’Connor