Cork City manager John Caulfield admitted he was disappointed with his side’s reaction to conceding an equaliser in their 2-1 defeat to Sligo Rovers on Friday night.
Karl Sheppard’s early header looked like it had City on course for another important three points but second-half goals from David Cawley and Raffaele Cretaro was enough to earn Rovers the victory.
The result leaves Sligo 11 points clear of the relegation places but for City, they now face a monumental task if they are to reclaim their title as they now trail league leaders Dundalk by six points with six games remaining.
And speaking to reporters shortly after full-time, Caulfield insisted he wasn’t happy with how his side responded to Cawley’s leveller.
“It’s disappointing for us,” said the City boss.
“For sixty minutes we were in control of the match. In the first half, we were really, really good. We went 1-0 up, Shep with a great header and certainly we had the opportunity to get the second goal to go ahead.
“But in the first half we played really well, we restricted them, we were well in control of the game and we started the second half quite good.
“Kieran Sadlier hits the post to put us two up and then we pressed the self-destruct button giving away the equalising goal which was disappointing and for some reason we never recovered from that and that’s what’s disappointing.
“We’ll have a chat with the boys on Saturday and we’ll go through things but sometimes that can happen, momentum in games can swing but that’s sport and these things happen.
“Sligo got a lift with the equaliser and they threw caution to the wind because they were under no pressure. Some of our lads just found it difficult to create opportunities and get on the ball and we certainly weren’t as composed.”
Attentions now switch to the return of the FAI Cup next week with the Leesiders making the trip to Longford Town on Friday evening and it is a fixture that has now taken on added significance following their first league loss at Turner’s Cross since Sligo also won there last August.
“I keep saying down here in Cork there is huge pressure on the players to perform every week and that’s our first home defeat which is disappointing,” added Caulfield.
“Our expectation levels are gone to the highest level because we have been successful. We’ve been in Europe five times in five years but at the same time when they equalised, we just didn’t bounce back into the match that was disappointing.
“We have to prepare now for next week and see if we can get into the FAI Cup semi-final.”