Ahead of Sunday afternoon's FAI Cup semi-final clash, Eanna Buckley sat down with Cork City boss John Caulfield to get his thoughts on the game.
John, going into Sunday's game, what are your thoughts on facing St Pat's?
We know it is a massive opportunity to get back to the Aviva, having been there last year. Pat's obviously won the cup in 2014 and they would still have a lot of the team that won the cup then within their squad, the likes of Clarke, O'Brien, Bermingham, Fagan and Byrne are all still there, so the nucleus of that team is still there, as well as Liam as manager.
The cup is obviously the avenue into Europe for Pat's, which is crucial. We know that having to go to Richmond Park is a tough ask and it will be difficult but, at the same time, we are optimistic. We believe that, if we perform well, we can get to the Aviva.
Over the close season, there was some player movement between the two clubs, so do you think that both sides will have a good handle on the other and know what to expect from each other?
Yeah, obviously Billy and Darren Dennehy were with us for a few years and they did brilliantly for us. On his day, Darren is one of the best centre-backs in the league and Billy, on his day, is one of the best wingers in the league. They both gave good service to the club here, but they made the change and moved up to St Pat's. They owe us nothing and we wished them both well when they left.
Obviously, Greg Bolger and Kenny Browne came to us ahead of the 2016 season, having won a league and a cup at St Pat's, as well as playing in Europe for them. They were instrumental players for Pat's during a successful time for them and we were delighted to sign them.
Since joining us, they have both shown what fantastic players they are, and they have fitted in really well here. They have both played a huge part in how well we have been doing this season, and I am sure that the St Pat's fans will appreciate them for the service they gave them.
You have been involved in a number of cup semi-finals, both as a player and as a manager. They are great occasions to be involved in, aren't they?
They are fantastic because you are just one day away from the big day. While it is always disappointing to lose any game, a cup semi-final is the one round you do not want to get knocked out in because you are so close to the big occasion.
Pat's will have the advantage of being at home but, at the same time, our league form has been very impressive. We have done well in the cup too this year; we have had to travel to Rovers and Longford and win, and we are on the road again today. For ourselves, it is all about trying to get through today and get back to the Aviva to see if we can win some silverware.
St Patrick's Athletic v Cork City
Sunday, October 2nd @ 3.55pm
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