John Caulfield believes Cork City manager Neale Fenn will be counting on the experienced new arrivals to give his team a lift in their battle against relegation.

The club are bottom of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division on three points ahead of Sunday's fixture against Bohemians.

With the resumed season curtailed to 18 games rather than the original 36 in place prior to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the battle against the drop takes on a sense of immediacy.

Former Cork boss Caulfield told RTÉ Radio One's Saturday Sport that some of the squad at the start of the season were not at the required level but that Fenn's attempts to remedy that with new signings could yield a positive effect.  

"Cork City have ended up in that position and they have a massive game at home to Bohemians," he said.

"I think the problem for Neale Fenn since he came in was that he came in at the end of last season with seven or eight matches to go to get a feel of the squad.

"Obviously that period of time gave him a good look and then there was the decision to release a lot of players - Buckley to Sligo, Shane Griffin to Pat's, Conor McCormack - these type of pretty experienced guys, all players who have won trophies with the club.

"They went down a youth policy, brought in a number of players from England in the first part of the season and most of them just weren't at this level.

Neale Fenn

"Fortunately, they beat Finn Harps at home to get three points, so three points after five games. But since the pre-season over the last month, Neale has been actively trying to bring in players, more experienced players.

"He's ended up bringing Graham Cummins and Kevin O'Connor back in and he's signed two lads yesterday -two forward players but obviously they can't play for a couple of weeks.

"So he's hoping that maybe these guys will give the team a lift. But it is difficult because there is no weak team in this league and while people would have suggested that Finn Harps were probably the weakest team because they were part-time, Finn Harps have been through the mill year-in, year-out and are well capable of giving anyone a game."

But Caulfield also warned that the absence of supporters due to current restrictions will make it harder for Cork City to make Turner's Cross a fortress.

"So it is difficult times and the biggest thing for Cork City of course is Turner's Cross, great ground, great venue and atmosphere, and obviously with no supporters, you lose that little bit of an edge," he said.

"It is concerning but Neale seems to be confident in the lads he's got and he seems confident that they can get results."

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