Cork City assistant boss John Cotter has claimed that Dundalk attempts to "intimidate" one of the Leesiders' players at Turner's Cross led to manager John Caulfield being sent to the stands.

Caulfield did not take his place in the dugout for the second half of Friday night's 1-0 defeat to the Lilywhites, a result which all but handed the title to the visitors.

It transpired that he had been sent off but Cotter said afterwards that Cork were merely trying to "diffuse" a heated exchange. 

"There were a couple of people from Dundalk who probably weren't even involved in their 18, on their technical staff, trying to intimidate one of our players," he said. 

"We were trying to diffuse the situation. We got our boys into the dressing room. We were only told two minutes before going back out that John was sent off.

"We'll look into that from Monday and deal with it from then."

Chris Shields' early goal proved enough to give Dundalk the three points and further stretch their lead at the top of the table.

If Stephen Kenny's men beat Derry City on Tuesday, they'll be 12 points ahead of Cork with four games to play.

"We didn't play as well as we could have, you have to congratulate Dundalk," Cotter added.

"They deserved to win. Every game we've had against them over the last five years has been nip and tuck. It always comes down to fine margins.

"We didn't [create a lot]. We have to pick ourselves up Monday and get ready for the FAI Cup semi-final [against Bohs] next Sunday. 

"It's a huge week. We've won it the last two years. We don't want to give it up lightly. We're going up to a tough place against Bohs, who are probably the best team in the country a the moment."