RONAN McCARTHY was never going to show too much emotion following Cork’s loss to Limerick in the McGrath Cup final on Saturday night.
However, he was quick to dispel the notion from some that Division 3, which starts in two weeks, is going to be a walk in the park. The Rebels are favourites for promotion, despite their league woes last spring, but will have to improve on their showing at the Gaelic Grounds.
“I am blue in the face from saying this.
“There seems to be some notion out there that we are going to rock up to Division 3 and people are going to say 'off you go lads'. If tonight does anything it says to people that you must go out and you must perform and win each game on its own merits.
"Not because we are Cork and believe we have some divine right to do something. We were short some players, not a lot of players, but I thought we were well strong enough to come up here and play better this evening.
“Our pre-season has gone very well to this point so the thing is to not get too despondent about tonight’s one match.
“Up to that we had played seven games and they had gone pretty well.
“But now it is all eyes on Offaly in two weeks’ time.”
From this point on it is clear that McCarthy is focused on the National League and the manager is adamant that every game is important however one is more important than the others.
“They are all big games now.
“The nature of the league now is whatever division you are in you have to win your first game and we haven’t been able to do that in the last couple of years and you are then under pressure.
“We will focus on the first game and make sure we are well prepared over the next couple of weeks but look forward to the game.”
It wasn’t all bad news for McCarthy as he took some positives from the game.
“Tonight was a good workout and a good test for us and you find out a lot about guys in games like this.
“We kept trying to the end and while some of our decision-making was poor (some of that was down to Limerick pressure) overall they kept going.”