Pointing the way! Longford Town manager Neale Fenn pictured at the league game against Cabinteely at Stradbrook on Friday night last: Photo: Syl Healy
A home draw in the FAI Cup quarter-final was something that Longford Town manager Neale Fenn had hoped for and he got just that when his side were pitted against the holders Cork City with the big match taking place at City Calling Stadium on Saturday night next, kick-off 7.30pm.
The game against the current Premier Division leaders will be special for Fenn as he spent three seasons with Cork where he won a league medal.
He is really looking forward to the match and feels Longford have nothing to lose.
“It’s nice to get them but I would rather get through than play a team for sentimental value. I loved the city and it will be good to play them and test ourselves against them. We must know who we are; we are in the First Division and they are the best team in the Premier Division and cup holders also. I am looking forward to the game and we have nothing to lose as the odds are heavily stacked against us.”
With teams like Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers in the last eight Fenn felt the Town would draw a top club. Non-league side Bluebell were also in the draw but Fenn admitted he is glad his team didn’t draw the south Dublin club.
“Bluebell would have been a possible banana skin for us where the pressure would be on us rather than them. I think Cork will be thinking the same way; all the pressure will be on them. Everyone will be watching them and expecting them to beat us. We are happy to play along with that and we will see what happens on the night.”
The Town boss is well aware of the threat City will pose but his side will not be there to just make up the numbers.
“We are not going to be sitting ducks. We don’t want to sit there and park the bus, we want to have a go at them. We have to test ourselves and see how we can do against the top teams if we want to progress. We have to see if we can step up against Cork.”
Since the Londoner took over at City Calling Stadium there has been an air of excitement at games and he has captured the imagination of Town supporters.
He has called on the Town followers to come out in big numbers on Saturday night as the club bid to cause a massive cup upset.
“We have said to the players about creating a buzz around the town and giving the town something to cheer and the people there because it’s part of being a player. Hopefully we will get a good crowd because it’s a big game. Probably the biggest game for the club in a few years.”
Fenn commented on the link between the supporters and players.
“As a player you want to play in front of good crowds and you want to excite them as well. That’s what I want my players to do. Look at the Sligo game and now hopefully the Cork game will allow us to do the same. Hopefully the fans will get right behind us.”