CORK’S impressive win over Kildare in Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final is sure to send clear warning signals to their opposition of their plans to bring the Sam Maguire home this year.
However, Cork boss Conor Counihan was concerned with certain aspects of his side’s performance on Sunday, none more so than with the fact that the Rebels went 24 minutes without registering a score.
“Obviously at this level it’s a concern,” Counihan admitted to the Irish Examiner following Sunday’s facile victory for Cork. “If you went into an All-Ireland semi-final and went 25 minutes without a score, you wouldn’t win.”
“Coming out at half-time you were saying this is going to be a hell of a battle. To be fair they did put it up to us and got a few opportunities and missed them. Then we got down and got a point, got a second point and it went for us then.”
Counihan must have given quite the encouraging speech at half-time in the Cork dressing-room, with many wondering what exactly was said to the lads.
“Ah, I suppose just get back to simplicity, start pushing up on people, not to be giving people a yard or two.”
“Some of our guys stopped playing and stopped doing the simple things, not running through the ball, not working hard enough, and if you don’t do that at any stage you leave yourself exposed,” the Rebels boss continued.
Counihan did acknowledge his side’s ability to turn on the style when required, with the substitutes in particular making an impact when introduced.
“Yeah, look, that’s important,” he stressed. “We had some tough decisions this week. Some people stepped up and gave us a few more questions to answer.”
The next few weeks will be of huge importance to Counihan and his Cork side, as they prepare for a mouth-watering semi-final clash against a Donegal team brimming with confidence following their nail-biting win over Kerry on Sunday.
“Look, to be honest you’d have preferred if it was tougher and to test you a little bit more, but that’s the way it happened and in fairness to our guys they probably did push on and get some decent scores.”
“Touch wood the next three weeks we get everyone free of injury and we have a full squad to pick from,” he finished.