Limerick FC manager Neil McDonald
LIMERICK FC manager Neil McDonald insists all the pressure will be on runaway SSE Airtricity League Premier Division leaders Cork City when the sides go head to head in their televised league fixture at Turners Cross this Friday.
High-flying Cork are currently a whopping 26 points clear of sixth-placed Limerick ahead of their Munster derby clash.
John Caulfield’s side thumped Limerick 3-0 when the sides met at the Markets Field at the end of March.
However, boosted by their thrilling 5-3 victory over Bray Wanderers in their final outing before the mid-season break, McDonald is looking forward to the challenge of taking on the top flight leaders.
McDonald told the Limerick Leader; “The pressure is all on Cork on Friday night, to be fair. They have played 17 games and won 16 of them. It is going to be difficult for us, but not impossible”
“Our players will be full of confidence after the Bray game. They have had a bit of a break which some of them possibly needed. It has given a bit of time for a few injuries to clear up.
”I think it is the perfect fixture to play to be fair. The pressure should all be on them and if we can play well, compete and do like we did against Bray, we will create a few chances. We have to take them against the top teams and we did that against Bray and they are one of the top teams in the league.
McDonald said the players had come back in top shape following their week off.
”We gave them a programme for last week. We checked their weights and stuff like that and everyone is in good shape”
”I am really pleased. The first training sessions we have had this week, it was really good, the tempo was really good so we are really pleased they have enjoyed the holiday, but at the same time, they have been working as well.”
McDonald said he believed two to three new players coming into the Blues squad during the the July transfer window would be the optimum number.
”Bringing in more than four and five can upset the balance of the squad, I think,” McDonald said.
“Bringing in two or three brings in that bit of, ‘ooh,, is he going to take my place’. The competition comes and it freshens up the squad as well. I think any more than that is a difficult one because you are almost changing the whole of the team.
”It is trying to find that balance. Obviously, over time then, you are looking to change two or three in the windows to try and make the squad that little bit better, whether it’s an age thing trying to bring that down or whether its bringing a couple of older ones in.
”It is about finding that balance.”
McDonald said he expected to be in position to confirm his new assistant-manager at Limerick FC in the next 10 days.
“The person is trying to get out of where he is in the right way, without having to work notice or without having to work compensation.
“Hopefully in the next 10 days I will have news on that. I don't want to mention his name at this stage.”