Cork City manager John Caulfield has praised the supporters who turned out for his side's 1-1 draw with St Patrick's Athletic on the opening day of the 2014 SSE Airtricity Premier Division season.
The official attendance of 5,322 eclipsed the highest total from the 2013 season, when over 4,200 came to see West Ham United at Turner's Cross, and Caulfield was delighted with the turnout for the match.
"The crowd was fantastic," he told reporters after the game. "A lot of the young players haven't played in front of a crowd that size before in Cork. I thought we were nervous for the first 20-25 minutes, but we settled down and soaked up pressure."
The Leesiders took the lead through Garry Buckley, but Pat's struck back through Chris Fagan's second-half header. Johnny Dunleavy was sent off for the hosts, but overall Caulfield was pleased with his side's performance.
"We're disappointed with the goal we conceded," admitted the Leesiders boss. "We had a couple of options to cut it out, but these things happen. The passion, attitude, and commitment from the players, I couldn't ask for more. If the guys have that passion for the rest of the season, we'll be fine."
The new Cork City manager was initially apprehensive about his opening two fixtures, but is now more confident after holding the champions to a draw in front of the capacity crowd at Turner's Cross.
"When Pat's come down, you could be beaten at home, then you have the second game away to Derry, two unbelievably tough games," Caulfield said.
"It did give us the confidence after. We really did play quite well, and even when we were under the cosh, we kept our shape.
"Overall, it's a good indicator. Sometimes you get in front of a huge crowd like that, you raise your game. I was thrilled the crowd was so big, that so many people came out in support.
"The lads are used to 2,000 people, 2,500 people, and then it was double that. Hopefully in two weeks time they'll be back, and then come back all season."