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Friday 24 November 2017

Saints to play key role as title race nears end

Cork City manager John Caulfield
Cork City manager John Caulfield

Their fans may have their eyes glued to smartphones and ears tuned to radio to learn the outcome of another game tonight, but for Cork City's players it's all about Dublin, Shamrock Rovers and Tallaght.

That's the claim of their manager John Caulfield ahead of what could be the defining night in the title race of this 2017 season. A win for Cork away to Rovers will not in itself be enough to hand them their first league title since 2005 but should Dundalk fail to win at home to St Patrick's Athletic, a City victory will do the job.

It's only a matter of time before Cork are crowned champions and while City fans would like to "do it in Tallaght" as Dundalk did three years ago, Caulfield is happy to wait.

"We are in control of what we have to do," he says.

"We were back to basics against Finn Harps and we know Rovers will be a massive challenge, but it is all about us keeping our focus and concentrating on the game, which is what we have been working on all week.

"We know it will be difficult going up to Tallaght. We are in a great position; we have come from nowhere over the last few years and built a really strong squad with great players.

"We need two wins, we have a difficult run-in and we have to earn it in the right way. For me, it is about keeping our heads down and making sure that we can get the results over the next number of weeks," added Caulfield.

St Pat's will not be standing idly by at Oriel Park as they have aims of their own, relegation still a threat for the club who exited the FAI Cup last week but former Saint David McMillan says Dundalk are wary.

"St Pats have been in very good form in the league, they've won a lot of their games and kind of pulled away from the bottom a little bit," he said.

"They added a lot of experience in the transfer window in July so it'll be a different side probably to what we faced earlier in the year."

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