Cork City manager John Caulfield was pleased to see his players respond to "a lot of criticism" following their defeat to Dundalk as they saw off Shamrock Rovers, while Hoops boss Stephen Bradley saw many positives from his team.

The visitors did not capitalise on a positive start at Turner’s Cross, and it was City that led at the break thanks to Kieran Sadlier’s penalty.

They saw the game out after an improved second half performance.

Caulfield told RTÉ Sport: "It was a huge performance. The lads were really disappointed after Friday night. We didn't play well. We were well beaten and the team took a lot of criticism.

"It was important in front of a massive crowd that we got back to playing with the passion we have been playing and overall we were well deserving winners in the sense Mark McNulty had no shot to save.

"We went 1-0 up with the penalty but in the second half we missed three glorious chances, maybe four. When it's 1-0 you're always hanging on.

"The most important thing was the clean sheet. Young Conor McCarthy is in at right-back - he played the other night - Sean McLaughlin came in - another young lad - and it was a clean sheet so it was a fantastic performance by the lads."

Caulfield admitted his team had to battle to get on top and had to take the best Shamrock Rovers threw at them.

"Shamrock Rovers are physically a very big team. They have six players over six foot, they are physically an enormous team. It was a difficult game. It was really a tough battle. We were a small bit on the back foot, but at the same time they hadn't opened us up or created any chances.

"Overall in the second half we were much, much better. We just couldn’t' get the second goal"

"From that point of view we probably needed to weather the storm when coming off the defeat on Friday night. We hung in there. We dug in and in the second spell of the first half I thought we started to get the ball wide and Sadlier and Sheppard starting causing problems.

"We looked more dangerous, had a couple of half chances and obviously we got the penalty after the header hit the post.

"Overall in the second half we were much, much better. We just couldn’t' get the second goal. But overall, clean sheet, three points and as I said to the lads afterward, there is a long way to go in the season but after the criticism from Friday night, it was a nice way to respond."

Bradley, had a somewhat different opinion, to his counterpart, insisting in the first half it was only side "attacking and creating chances".

Graham Cummins was needlessly brought down by Kevin Horgan for the penalty but it was the play beforehand that annoyed the Hoops boss.

But he saw enough in his team to be happy with their progress.

"I thought we played really well for large parts of the game," Bradley said.

"It was a disappointing goal to give away. We should have stopped the cross and didn't...obviously the penalty. But no, I thought we were good for large parts of the game.

"The cross is the bit I'm disappointed with. The centre forward was clever, he toe-pokes it and goes down. The goalkeeper should stand yes, but we need to stop the cross. We didn't work hard enough to stop the cross.

"We'll be fine. We were the team that tried to play the football and looked like an attacking threat"

"It was just one of those nights. Every time we went to shoot it looked liked it bobbled up and it was caught on the full then - when you do that it obviously goes wayward.

"We'll be fine. If we keep playing the way we are, we'll be fine. We were the team that tried to play the football and looked like an attacking threat. On another night, we'd score another one or two.

"It's plain for everyone in the ground to see [that we are improving]. The first 45 minutes there was only one team playing football, there was only one team attacking and creating chances. In parts of the second half it was the exact same. We didn't come and do that last year.

"We're a better team and squad than what we were last year."