Collins: Every day you get to play inside forward with Colm O'Neill is a treat

Collins: Every day you get to play inside forward with Colm O'Neill is a treat
Mark Collins scores a goal against Down. Picture: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

CORK'S refusal to get too down on themselves after losing at home to Tipperary has put them back on track, says Mark Collins.

The Castlehaven man was fulsome in his praise of manager Ronan McCarthy for keeping the spirits high going to face Down in Newry.

“To be fair to Ronan, he was unbelievably positive all week. Any video or anything he showed us was positive. We played a lot of good football but we had a 10-minute spell where we went from three up to seven down. Ten points in 10 minutes, that wasn’t good enough, really, at this level and I think we learned from a lot of our mistakes last week.” 

All counties have already lost points at this stage and Collins anticipates a tight finish to the league.

“There are a lot of good teams in Division 2 probably at the same level so we’re right back in it now. We’ve a home game against Louth and they’re after two defeats so they’ll be well up for it. We have to come off this high straight away and be tuned in for it.” 

Known more as a playmaker and runner, Collins was impressive in his new assignment in Páirc Esler playing alongside and in front of Colm O’Neill, helping himself to 1-5.

“It’s a different role but very enjoyable. Every day you get to play inside with Colm O’Neill is a bit of a treat. He’s top class and if I can learn a couple of things from him it’s very good.” 

Colm O'Neill. Picture: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile
Colm O'Neill. Picture: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

His more advanced position is in keeping with McCarthy’s objective to play positively.

“Since day one, Ronan said we would be doing one-on-one defending and start from there. We got men back at times because they gave us a sweeper but we’re trying to play attractive football and if you get a win as well it’s a bonus.” 

As for Collins’ lobbed goal, he admits he was intending to kick for a point.

“It was a bit of luck but you’ll take them. We didn’t have the luck last week missing a penalty in the second half so we’ll take any bit of luck we can get.

“We were under pressure after a home game and losing it, which was disappointing when we were three points up midway through the second half and beaten by six. We were under right pressure. Down were coming off a win and we knew it wouldn’t be easy so we were delighted with two points.”

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