'Players were hurting about what was said but there was no argument with it'

'Players were hurting about what was said but there was no argument with it'

Cork manager Kieran Kingston during the win over Dublin. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

A WEEK can make a big difference in any walk of life and it certainly did for Cork team boss Kieran Kingston.

Seven days ago he was at a loss to explain how poorly his players had performed against Waterford in the Munster championship but this time he was far more upbeat and he had every reason to be.

At the same time, he wasn’t getting carried away with the outcome but the most pleasing aspect of the day in Thurles was the response from the players in the 1-25 to 0-22 victory.

“I thought our performance was really good, I thought the work rate was really good, the subs that we brought in gave us a lift. In a compacted championship like this you’re going from club championship to inter-county championship, so it takes a small while to get up to it.

“We have a lot of tired guys in there, five or six lads cramping, so it’s good to have them to come in and give us a lift." 

He felt they had set out their stall during the week.

“It’s easy to say it now but the attitude in training was really good. The players were hurting, hurt by what was said and written, and there was no argument with it, you deserve what you get.

“Fellas were really disappointed with the performance last Saturday, and today doesn’t take away from that, it was what it was and we were hugely disappointed and annoyed over it.

“There was a buzz in training during the week which I think we brought that to the field today in terms of work-rate, attitude and use of the ball, those were really good.

“It gets us into the draw. Let’s not get carried away, this gets us into the draw and that’s all it does, but it gets another performance into the lads, another championship game.” 

The Cork boss said that he was delighted with all those who had led by example, particularly Robbie O’Flynn and Mark Coleman.

Donal Burke of Dublin in action against Mark Coleman. Picture: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Donal Burke of Dublin in action against Mark Coleman. Picture: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

“Yes, it’s well documented where Cork are in terms of national hurling titles, 22 years since the league, 15 since the All-Ireland, so I knew going back into the role that this would be a process.

“We have 16 guys on the panel 24 or younger, 13 of them 23 or younger, nine of them started and that’s excluding Darragh Fitzgibbon and those other injured players.

“So it’s a very young team and panel in many ways. Games like this will help them hugely to develop.

“We had two making their championship debuts, Robbie O’Flynn hadn’t played since being suspended in the league, and he was fantastic, Mark Coleman too but so were all the others we introduced prior to and during the game."

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