“THE LADS ARE HURT, BUT IT’S GOOD HURT”

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CORK CITY v BOHEMIANS (Turner’s Cross, Friday August 9th, 7.45pm)

Bohemians go to Cork hoping that the “hurt” of last week’s defeat will spur them to higher levels of performance and concentration.

Manager Owen Heary has been working the team hard on set-pieces after conceding goals from corners and a free against UCD last week.

“The lads are disappointed and feeling hurt. But it’s a good hurt. They know they did well, even if they are disappointed at conceding those goals,” he said.

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“The training has been high-tempo because of the frustration. They know they are well capable of winning games, if they can eradicate those mistakes.”

Heary takes hope from his team’s performance. “We created chances, we got a lot of bodies forward, and UCD never threatened us in open play.

“We scored early on, we were in control of the game, and we had another chance soon afterwards. If we had got the goal later to go 2-all, I’m sure we would have gone on and won the game.”

The caretaker manager, also one of the league’s most experienced defenders, has been addressing the team’s problem of “not reacting to the second ball” when the first attempt on goal has been defended.

“It’s a mental thing, being determined that you’re not going to let the man you’re marking score,” he said. “That’s the difference between the teams at the top and teams at the bottom. The teams at the top are quicker to react and make sure the opposition don’t get on to the second ball.”

Last March in Turner’s Cross, Bohemians went ahead when Heary was first to a Ryan McEvoy corner at the near post. But Bohemians could not hold the lead, losing 2-1, and the scoreline was the same when the teams met in May in Dalymount Park.

Cork have lost four of the players who featured in those matches and, like Bohemians, changed manager following a run of poor results. Friday’s match will be Stuart Ashworth’s first league game in charge.

Heary knows Ashworth as a “good manager” through the under-19 league but he is hoping Friday’s opposition don’t get the new-manager bounce, that has been observed elsewhere in the league.

Midfielders Dave Mulcahy and Ryan McEvoy return from injury but Chris Lyons (bruised ribs), Andy Mulligan (hamstring), Stephen Doran (ankle) and Keith Buckley (suspended) are not available.

Heary is confident his players’ efforts will yield results. “The fans could see last week that the players are working hard and playing for the shirt. We have to play to win,” he said.

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