CORK manager Ronan McCarthy believes they will have to win their three remaining games to retain their Division 2 status after losing to Meath on Saturday night.
The Rebels drew with Fermanagh in their first game but have since lost three in a row. They play Tipperary in Thurles on Saturday, host Donegal on March 16 before wrapping up the schedule away to Armagh.
“We can avoid relegation, but we will need three wins in-a-row and that’s a big ask considering we’ve lost three of our last four games.
"It can be done and other teams have done it before,” he said.
Cork’s confidence is quite brittle as a consequence of the losing streak and what they wouldn’t give for that much needed first league win of 2019.
“There’s no quick fix. Nobody is going to hand it to us.
"We’ll have to take a look at ourselves, dig deep again, which we will do, and keep believing the work we are doing will come through. We are desperately looking for that win.
“They are all difficult games, be it away to Fermanagh or Tipperary. There are no ‘gimmes’ because it’s a very competitive Division 2.
“It will be difficult to pick the lads up, but we will go again, for sure.
"Everyone is scrapping for points in the division. It obviously doesn’t look great for us where we are in the table, but we can’t start feeling sorry for ourselves.
“I believe there is talent there and there are able players, but the frustrating part for me is not seeing them perform to the best of their ability. You can accept that, when you’re beaten by the better team.
"We are performing under par, but we’ll support the players to get through it,” McCarthy added.
Cork’s lack of self-belief was evident from the throw-in as Meath took a firm grip early on.
“I thought we were very nervous at the start and allowed them move 6-2 in front before we had a good 15-minute spell coming up to half-time.
“We then went out of the game again for 20 minutes in the second-half and overall we expected more in terms of a performance because we invested a lot in it over the past two weeks, but didn’t get it.
“We had a bit of momentum coming into half-time, started to get a bit of a foothold in the middle of the field but we never kicked on. Meath dominated and we left ourselves with too much to do.”
One of the few bright notes was the return from injury of Sean Powter, who came on as a substitute and scored the goal.
“He made a difference, when he came on and we got game time into newcomer Paul Walsh and that’s always a positive.”