Cork City manager John Caulfield has apologised for his team’s performance against Bohemians last night, describing it as their worst half of football in his time as boss.
City trailed 4-1 at the break as woeful defending led to Bohs running riot, with former Crystal Palace defender Damien Delaney particularly struggling throughout.
Caulfield said of the team display: "It was just so disappointing. It was probably the worst 45 minutes we've had as a management team since we've taken over.
"There was a lot of individual mistakes all across the team. Bohs played really well but we gave them a number of goals. At half-time it was an impossible situation.
"The whole team didn't play well. It's a team game and we didn't defend well. There were lots of performances well below par. You don't lose a game over one player. Damien Delaney has joined us. He has been a fantastic player and fantastic at training. A lot of players had bad nights tonight."
Caulfield went down to applaud the Cork supporters at full-time and they responded with signs of frustration and annoyance at their team's showing.
"The [fans] are all disappointed, we are all disappointed," Caulfield admitted.
"To be fair they have paid a lot of money, taken a lot of half-days to come up and support the team tonight.
"They can see the first half wasn't good enough tonight. As the manager of the team I apologise because if fans aren't happy, we're not happy. While Bohs played well tonight, we made it too easy, and that's not good enough."
Next week’s game gives Dundalk the chance to all but seal the SSE Airtricity Premier Division crown, with the Lilywhites undoubtedly excited at the chance of doing so in Turner’s Cross against their rivals of the the last four seasons.
Caulfield said his side have to lift themselves again to get the result through hard work: "We've been playing catch-up for the last couple of weeks. From that point of view we have to go back to basics. We're at home. We'll have a big crowd. We have to give a performance the crowd deserves. That's what we'll work on during the week.
"People were saying we wouldn't [win the FAI Cup] and we did. We're in the Cup semi-final. The most important thing tonight is to get back to work next week because we have made too many mistakes tonight.
"It gives Dundalk a chance to put their name on the league if they win next week.
"For us it's about giving a performance at home and getting back to what we are good at. In every game you need a result and there is a Cup semi-final to come as well. There is lots of things to play for."