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Sunday 4 December 2016

Caulfield insists underdog tag suits Rebels

2 November 2015; Cork City's Karl Sheppard during a media day. Cork City media day ahead of Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup Final. Turners Cross, Cork. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
2 November 2015; Cork City's Karl Sheppard during a media day. Cork City media day ahead of Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup Final. Turners Cross, Cork. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

A lifetime in football, most of it with his adopted home of Cork City, has taught John Caulfield that life doesn't always go according to plan.

That's why the Cork boss is glad that Dundalk are favourites for Sunday's FAI Cup final at Lansdowne Road.

Cork have already had a good season by most standards: runners-up in the league and European football guaranteed, but Caulfield is keen for City to add a trophy to the plaudits, his side hoping to get the better of Dundalk.

"They are favourites and are going for the double. Most people will expect them to win but it's all about how you perform on the day and if we perform I believe we'll win," said the Roscommon native, hopeful that his side can deal with the hype in Cork.

"It's easy for me at 50 years of age, because I have seen it. I have been in a cup final, in 1992, where we were odds-on to win [against Bohemians], we just had to go up and collect the trophy, and went back home with our tail between our legs.

"We went up in 1998, we were given no chance, Shelbourne were home and dry to beat us and we won the Cup.

"So the cup is funny. There is huge hype in the city. We just have to lean on your experience, keep telling players to keep their feet on the ground, keep focused.

"The good thing about it is that a lot of people are not giving us much of a chance, so maybe it's easier to keep the players' feet on the ground and be more focused because everyone is expecting Dundalk to win the double," added the City boss.

Meanwhile, Sligo Rovers have confirmed that manager Micky Adams has left the club for family reasons, having helped Rovers avoid relegation. "I have had to make a very difficult decision that for family reasons I will return to England. It is never an easy decision to put yourself out of work but I have to put my family first," he said.

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