Cork football boss is still convinced they have the talent and quality

Cork football boss is still convinced they have the talent and quality
Luke Connolly shoots against Donegal. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

YOU'D have to admire Ronan McCarthy's optimism. 

The Cork football boss is one of those guys who always believes the glass is half full regardless of the situation.

Even a first relegation to division 3 hasn't dimmed his view of a group of players who've shipped heavy criticism ahead of another championship season in which very little is expected by those on the outside peering in.

Cork manager Ronan McCarthy. Picture: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Cork manager Ronan McCarthy. Picture: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Cork have a bye to the Munster semi-final, where they meet either Tipperary or Limerick at Páirc Uí Rinn on June 1.

The general view is that it will be a Cork-Tipp repeat from 12 months ago, when Cork produced their best display of the season to win comfortably by 11 points before Kerry did a number on them in the final.

“We do have the players, playing well, to really mix it with any team. Some could justifiably say to me now what is that based on given some of your results in the league and championship last year and that would be fair enough comment.

“But, we went to Armagh, who are a very decent team, who will do well in the Ulster championship, and won away without the likes of Luke Connolly, Paul Kerrigan, Sean Powter and then lost Brian Hurley and John O'Rourke during the game. They're all quality players.

“I'm still convinced the talent and quality are there. I can only talk about it for so long, but at some point it's my job as manager to get them to deliver,” he said.

The advent of the championship is dominated by Dublin's quest for an historic five All-Irelands on the spin, but even their league form has raised questions in some minds.

“It's all extremes in people's opinions of teams. Dublin are untouchable according to some, but they lose a couple of league games and they're saying they're coming back into the pack.

“Look at last year, I couldn't believe Kerry losing to Galway after they had beaten us in the Munster final. I would have put my house on them to win it.”

McCarthy adopts a common-sense approach to the obvious criticism, which came his way following demotion from division 2.

“Some are just having a go. There are those with good knowledge and understanding of the game. You mightn't agree but you've got to make a judgement on it.

“Some analysis is fair, others just noise and people wanting to be heard. You've got to detach yourself from that.”

There was county board criticism, as well, but McCarthy's answer followed the same pattern.

“I liken it to a father-in-law at a a wedding, when not everyone wants to listen to him, but he's going to have the mike at some stage.

“The same principle applies. Some put thought it into it. I look at these things and ask what solutions are these people providing?

“It's easy to say this is wrong and that is wrong, but what solution are you providing and a lot of time it's not anything.

“The advice to the players would be to stay off social media and if they follow that they won't get too fazed either way, whether the comments are favourable or otherwise.”

Like many, McCarthy is bemused by Cork performing away, picking up more league points than at home.

“I can't answer the question why our results are better on the road. We've taken two points from 14 at home and nine away from 14.

“Is there a reason for that? I don't know. If there is an issue we're going to have to try and work through it. There does seem to be a trend, but I don't know why.

“Some could legitimately say it is an issued based on the last two years. Is it something I'm going to make a big deal of? No.

“Some people thought it was the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh and we're well used to playing in Páirc Uí Rinn.

“I don't believe we can get too focused on it because it will come right eventually.

"It's a very funny one because it really only kicks in next January. 

"You park the league regardless of either doing well or not."

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