Homework is done as Cork eye long Euro run
Levadia Talinn v Cork City Live Eir Sport 1, KO 4.30
John Caulfield is confident that his Cork City side can take their impressive domestic form on the European stage by the Baltic Sea this evening.
Cork, who have won their last five games in a row and have dropped points in the league just once this season, return to the European stage, 11 months after their exit at the hands of Belgian side Genk, when they play Levadia Tallinn in Estonia.
Due to ongoing work on that club's home in the capital, the tie will be played two hours away, in Parnu, Cork acclimatising with an arrival on Tuesday.
Caulfield says he has done his homework on Levadia, a club beaten twice by Irish opposition in Europe, but is boosted by his own side's form.
"We have looked at them, they are very good going forward and create lots of chances. In my opinion, they look like a team that would be in the top four in our own league, and the intensity of the top games in the league here is similar to our own," says the City boss.
"From our own point of view, we are in a great run of form; we had a phenomenal first half of the season and have started the second half really well.
"We feel that, if we can play to form, then we can get a result. We believe that, based on last year's experience, we want to try and score an away goal, because the away goal is massive in Europe.
"It will be an extremely tough game, but we are preparing well. The venue is very open and it is quite windy, so it is unlike the grounds we are used to in Ireland and we feel the conditions will have some bearing on things.
"At the same time, we are in good form and we are confident that we can put in a top performance; if we do that, we feel we will get a good result," added Caulfield.
Steven Beattie and Alan Bennett return to the City squad after injury.