'We want Rovers to fear us'
CORK CITY defender Danny Murphy wants his club to take away the welcome mat and make Turner's Cross a place to be feared for clubs like Shamrock Rovers.
The Cork public are glad to see their team back in the top flight after a two-year stay in Division One but the return of the Premier Division has been painful so far, with two defeats from two games, most recently last week's 3-2 loss at home to Drogheda United.
Next up for Cork is tonight's meeting with league champions Shamrock Rovers, who are certainly on form when it comes to the league, the Hoops dropping just two points from their last nine games over this season and last term.
Murphy knows exactly what tonight's fixture means as he's played for both clubs, winning a league medal with Cork (2005) and Rovers (2010), and he says it's now time for Cork to make Turner's Cross a fortress.
"A lot of teams like coming to play in Cork. It's a nice stadium, a great pitch and a good crowd all the time so they see it as a nice place to play, and we have to change that, make sure that people don't want to come down here. We want Turner's Cross to be a horrible place to play," says Murphy ahead of tonight's game (live on RTE 2TV, 7.05pm).
"I want players from the opposing teams to think, 'I hate going to Cork because we always get such a hard game', that's something we need to do.
"I live in Cork and I love the place, I know what it means to people here when they beat, or lose to, a team like Shamrock Rovers.
"Cork City is a great club to play for, you have people who stood by the club when times were hard, when the club was almost going out of business. I see even more young people coming to the games now and there's a real buzz around the city because the team are back in the Premier Division.
"But we need to make sure those people keep coming back every week and it's up to us, the players, to win some games to entice them back again," says Murphy.
Cork were expected to challenge this season in some quarters (the Evening Herald tipped them as league runners-up), but the 2012 term has started badly with defeats to UCD and Drogheda United.
"It's way too early to panic," added Murphy. "Of course we'd love to have won our first two games and be going into tonight's game against Rovers hoping to beat them and go top of the table, instead of the scenario we have now where we're trying to get off the bottom," says Murphy.
Though a native Londoner, Murphy is an adopted son of Cork, where he is settled with his family, and is thinking of life after football, as he's involved in coaching school concept4soccer.com, which is helping to pass on his skills to the next generation of Cork stars.