JOHN Meyler has warned that his side will have to be more clinical with their finishing in Sunday’s crunch clash against Clare at Cusack Park.
Recalling his charges 0-21 to 1-14 defeat by his native Wexford, the Cork boss pointed out that the Rebels missed a host of favourable scoring opportunities.
“We created four goal chances in the game but unfortunately we managed to score from only one of them,” he said about the Wexford Park tie.
“And just before the end we had two chances to win the game and we failed to take either of them.
“So over this week we will be focussing on working hard in an attempt to improve our finishing for the Clare game.
“But while the quality of our finishing was disappointing against Wexford our overall performance was encouraging and that’s a plus for us ahead of Sunday,” added the former Wexford, Kerry and Carlow manager, whose side overcame Kilkenny in their opening League fixture.
In addition, Meyler feels that the high intensity of the exchanges in his side’s last match could also prove a major bonus for the showdown against the Banner County.
“It was more like a Championship match rather than a match played n the first of February,” he recalled on the Wexford Park fixture.
“There was a crowd of 8,000 at the match and they got really involved, and that all added to the atmosphere of the occasion in which Wexford and ourselves were really fired up.
“Having had three matches against Dublin, Kilkenny and Waterford, Wexford were about two weeks ahead of us in terms of preparation and that was probably a crucial factor for them.
“But hopefully we will reproduce the same level of intensity, passion and effort in the match against Clare,” the Cork supremo added.
Compared to the Wexford tie, Meyler revealed that his selection options will be significantly increased for the Ennis showdown.
In the wake of Kanturk’s win over Kilkenny’s Ballyragget in the recent All-Ireland Club intermediate, the experienced duo of goalkeeper Anthony Nash and midfielder Lorcan McLoughlin, as well as rookie defender Darren Browne, will all be re-available for consideration by the team boss.
“We brought Darren Browne into the senior panel this year,” explained Meyler on the promising young defender.
“He played at centre-back for Kanturk and he played at wing-back for the Cork U21s last year.”
And the Leeside boss is also optimistic that half-back Mark Coleman will be in the selection frame, while he is keeping his fingers crossed about the prospects of full-back Damien Cahalane lining out against the undefeated opposition.
“Because of a hamstring injury, Mark Coleman hasn’t played so far for us in this season’s League,” Meyler explained.
“But we are hopeful that he will be available for Sunday. Damien Cahalane, who came on as a sub against Wexford, is carrying a knee injury and it’s touch-and-go with him.”
On his side’s prospects for Sunday’s battle, Meyler remarked: “Clare are going well having beaten Tipperary and Tipperary so it’s going to be tough for us.
“They have already beaten us this year – in the Munster League – when their three early goals killed off the match as a contest.
“On this occasion they will be stronger, but so will we be, and hopefully we will turn the tables this time around.
“While to take two points from the game would be great, we’re trying to balance getting results in the League with blooding new players who hopefully will make claims for inclusion in the team in this year’s Championship.”