Barry Coffey pleased Cork City have ‘turned a page’ with three successive wins ahead of Bohs test

After a challenging return back to the Premier Division, Cork City midfielder Barry Coffey feels his side have turned a page after picking up three successive wins as the summer break approaches.

After winning just two of their opening 15 matches, the Leesiders’ form has swung back in their favour of late, defeating Sligo Rovers and Shamrock Rovers 1-0 each before they picked up a massive three points at Drogheda United last Friday.

That win, courtesy of Tunde Owolabi’s second-half strike, helped the ninth-placed Rebels cut the cap on Drogheda to two points. With back-to-back home games against Bohemians and Dundalk next before the summer break, Coffey (22) hopes his team can continue their purple patch and lift themselves further up the table.

“For a lot of us, this is our first Premier Division experience. This is where Cork City belongs, but as much as you don’t want to believe it, it was going to take time to adapt,” said Coffey, ahead of Cork’s clash against third-placed Bohs this evening at Turner’s Cross (5.0).

“It’s a different kettle of fish to the First Division. We had to go through a rough patch as every promoted team does.

“I still thought there were positives in the defeats to St Pat’s (3-2) and Dundalk (2-1), but now we’ve turned a page and hopefully we can keep winning and building.”

“That’s three wins on the bounce now,” added Coffey after Friday’s 1-0 win, as Cork picked up their first away victory of the season.

“You know what you’re going to get against Drogheda when they’re at home, an aggressive team that press you from the start. It’s a difficult place to win, one of the hardest in the league.

“We’ve struggled away from home this season. Individually, from staff to players, everybody has put their shoulder to the wheel. We were unfortunate in some games at the start of the season. We have a nice style of play, everybody knows their roles and week by week it’s improving.”

If the Leesiders are to make it four wins on the bounce, they will have to overcome a Bohemians side who returned to winning ways against Sligo last Friday.

Cork’s first meeting with Declan Devine’s side ended in defeat on the opening night of the season, before they suffered a 5-0 hammering at Dalymount Park last month, in what was former manager Colin Healy’s final game in charge before resigning.

“The Bohs games were probably two of our worst days of the season,” said Tipperary native Coffey

“The first night was a big occasion which probably got the better of us in the first half. Then at Dalymount, the red card (Alexander Gilchrist on 30 minutes) changed things. Everything that could go wrong went wrong that day.

“Since then, we’ve driven on but Bohs will likely be even better so we’ll have to be really at it.”

Coffey has been deployed in a deeper midfield role in recent weeks, and while it has had an impact on his ability to contribute in the final third, he is happy to contribute wherever assistant boss Richie Holland and Sporting Director Liam Buckely see fit, with the club still yet to name a new permanent manager.

“The standard of opposition has risen and the last five weeks I’d been playing a bit deeper,” he added.

“The lads asked me to do that role and affect the game from there. It’s taken a bit of my attacking side out of it. Against Drogheda it was nice to be back attacking, though there was some rust from the previous few weeks.

“I think I’ve put together a nice string of performances, nothing special but the main thing is that there’s been an overall improvement in the team.

“I’ve had to learn about defensive discipline in my game, but it would stupid to limit myself to just one position. I really don’t mind but in my own head I like to score goals. I missed a few chances on Friday but once the rustiness goes I should start scoring.”​​​​​​”

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