CORK CITY boss, John Caulfield has criticised the FAI’s decision to stage his side’s FAI Cup quarter-final replay against Derry City on Monday night, just three days after making the arduous 600 mile plus journey from Leeside to Brandywell and back.
The Cork City boss claims it’s ‘wrong’ to play the fixture so soon after Friday’s entertaining 1-1 draw on Foyleside and with crucial Premier Division fixtures scheduled for the following Friday night.
It would be a quick turnaround for most teams in the League of Ireland but considering the travelling involved for both Cork and Derry in such a short space of time, the replay certainly wasn’t the ideal scenario for either manager.
Caulfield was delighted his side battled back from an early Ryan McBride goal with Mark O’Sullivan’s second half finish keeping their hopes of a semi-final spot alive.
And while he felt the FAI has done neither side any favours by scheduling the replay at Turners Cross so soon after Friday’s match, he expects his side to rise to the occasion on Monday night as they bid to win the trophy for a third time.
“I think it’s going to be a tight one on Monday,” said the Cork manager. “It’s just wrong that it’s such a quick turnaround. With all the travelling involved - it could be close to 6 a.m. tomorrow morning before we get home from Derry. And for Derry coming down for Monday’s game they’ll have to leave on Sunday so it’s not ideal, but I suppose both teams knew that before tonight’s game so we just move on.
It’s just wrong that it’s such a quick turnaround. With all the travelling involved - it could be close to 6 a.m. tomorrow morning before we get home from Derry. And for Derry coming down for Monday’s game they’ll have to leave on Sunday so it’s not ideal.John Caulfield
“We’ve never been to the Aviva so we’re here to fight another day and hopefully we can get to the semi-final on Monday.”
Caulfield expected a tough test from a Derry City team who have a great tradition in the cup and a team, under Peter Hutton who reached the FAI Cup Final last season. However, he was disappointed with the way his side started the game.
“We gave Derry a start after just five minutes,” he added. “We went on to control the game but didn’t really create enough in the first half and they were trying to hit us on the counter.
“We had a chat at half-time and we wanted to up the intensity and get the ball wide and we scored. For about 20 minutes we were well on top and it looked like we would get a second but overall it was probably fair as Derry had a great chance at the end.
“Never in my life have I come to Brandywell and had an easy game and a cup game in particular. It was a great atmosphere. Both teams went for it but we knew it was going to be tough.
“Every game in this league is tough and when you have a cup game at Brandywell you can expect it to be a tough match but I think both teams, overall, will feel the draw was fair enough.”