Duff braced for tough test against Cork City

Team news | Shelbourne v Cork City (H)

Shelbourne FC have a number of injury concerns ahead of tomorrow’s League of Ireland Premier Division clash with Cork City at Tolka Park. (7:45pm KO)

The Reds head into the game without Shane Farrell who serves the first of a three match suspension, while Kian Leavy is the latest to join the growing injury list.

Unavailable for selection are Leavy, Conor Kane, Sean Boyd, Gavin Molloy, and Mark Coyle.

The Reds boss delivered a squad update ahead of tomorrow’s game. He told ShelbourneFC.ie: “Tyreke Wilson is back from suspension which is a boost, it’s as we were on the injury front mostly, Sean Boyd, Gav Molloy, Conor Kane, Mark Coyle are out. Kian Leavy is struggling and he’s going for a scan, he won’t be available for the weekend.

“JR Wilson is back training and feeling good, says he’s 100%, there are guys who have been playing through issues like Luke Byrne and Shane Griffin, they are fine.

“David Touré is in the squad. It was a really impressive display from him against Dundalk, very proud to see him make his debut in the Premier Division last week, he’ll have an interesting day, he’ll be going to school Friday morning, get out at 3:30pm and then jump on the bus up to Tolka Park.

“Might just about have time to stop in the shop for a pot noodle pre match, not the perfect preparation on a match day but at that age you just run on adrenaline don’t you and after the performance the last day, we have great faith in DT.”  

The Reds are in a good vein of form and have lost just once in 8 games. Three months into the new season has Duff seen improvements from the opening day draw against Drogheda United:

“I have and I haven’t,” Duff told ShelbourneFC.ie 

“I believe with the way we work our team will continuously grow, they give so much for each other. Why I say haven’t what I mean is I don’t think the league has settled down yet at all, there’s still a real chaotic feel to the games, all across the division now even in the second series of matches we haven’t settled down into our rhythm, the way we want to play and impose ourselves on the match, wanting to keep the ball and dominate games. It hasn’t happened yet.

“We’re trying to get to that point but the chaos is still there. You could argue that Shamrock Rovers are the only side properly settled into their stride, even when people said they were struggling, they were playing really well and never far away from clicking. What I want us to do now is bring some calm in the chaos.”

In August 1987, Mike Tyson delivered the immortal words when discussing the strategy of his upcoming opponent Tyrell Biggs: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” 

For the Reds at Tolka last week the proverbial punch in the face came after 10 minutes when they were reduced to 10 men after Shane Farrell saw a straight Red after an interaction with Keith Ward. Having gone a man down in the early exchanges of the game Duff praised his player’s resilience:

“We’re pretty well drilled on how we play with 10 men, and the guys work so hard for each other defensively. People think we lost Shane for 3 games, yes he’s banned now for the next 3 but we lost him for 4 really. The suspension is a massive blow when we’re so low on bodies. 

“Look, the plan goes out the window, but we soon adapted a Plan B and Plan C and the lads did really well to manage that in the circumstances. 

“I know after the game Stevie O’Donnell said they should’ve won, but when you look at the out and out real chances, they hit the post, but I think we’re the better team and are the ones that should’ve won it, hats off to the guys I thought they were magnificent.”

Cork City begin the game in 9th place in the table, 5 points behind the Reds in 6th. Duff says the Rebels are a formidable side:

“Really difficult task tomorrow, Cork City are a very good team, they have a brilliant manager in Colin Healy, he commands so much respect in the game for what he has achieved. 

“What he’s done with Cork City is very impressive as well, getting them back to where a big club of their stature belongs. As with any game, I won’t be disrespecting them, that’s not our style, we’ve warned the players they can’t either, it’s a really tough game, it’s there for all to see, they are a good team, we saw what they did away to Rovers, 4-4 draw, they beat Dundalk, Cork City are a really organised side and it’s a tough task for sure.”

Shels took all three points in Turners Cross on St Patrick’s Day, an own goal and a tidy finish from Jack Moylan handed Duff’s side the win on the road. The Reds boss is braced for a tough test:

“As always we reviewed their video this morning, we spoke about it yesterday on the pod, how we prepare for games, the level of detail and how we get our messages across in those clips.

“We did show a lot of footage from that game in Turners Cross, but it won’t mean much at 7:45pm tomorrow, it’s a different ground, different weather, different travel arrangements, we do know what we’re facing in terms of personnel.

“It’s the same squad, similar shape, but we know Colin might tweak it, that said our boys have a feel for them what they bring. We know they’ve got quality, and we’ll show them the respect they deserve.”

The Reds are facing into a busy few days with a Friday – Monday turnaround and a trip to Weavers Park to face Drogheda United to come early next week. The Reds boss is urging his young guns to seize the opportunity to impress:

“It’s all about stepping up now, Gbemi Arubi, Luke Browne and Lewis Temple are in the squad. DT took his chance last week, you always have a doubt when it’s a young lad, coming in after a serious injury.

“Taking an important position on the pitch when we’re a man down. That’s a very tough assignment, take out Rayhaan Tulloch and nullify his threat, a massive challenge, he’s one of the best players in the league, he scores a great goal, but DT coped well with that and that’s what he did for large parts. We know we can trust DT and those young players to step up and show what they can do.”


Tickets for the Reds upcoming clash are available here.


Watch all the action on LOItv, coverage begins from 7:30pm with kick off at 7:45pm Commentary from Adam Leonard and Reds icon Tony Sheridan

Share article