Kieran Kingston not fazed by criticism of Cork hurlers' new style

'You can go lateral too much, but the alternative is to puck it down on top of seven defenders against six attackers...'
Kieran Kingston not fazed by criticism of Cork hurlers' new style

Cork hurling manager Kieran Kingston. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

CORK manager Kieran Kingston was satisfied overall as a much-changed Rebels team ran out 33-point winners against Westmeath at Páirc Uí Chaoimh yesterday.

While there were seven alterations from the draw with Tipperary and Séamus Harnedy, Shane Kingston and Robbie O’Flynn were ruled out with injury, the Rebels didn’t allow complacency to fester as the visitors were beaten by 7-27 to 0-15.

It means they have scored 14 goals in three league games and Kingston felt that the positive approach paid off.

“That is something we are working on,” he said.

“We spoke about it before. At times, that'll come off and other times it won't and you just have to take your point. When they come off, they are great and it did at times today and it did at times in the other games, but other times it doesn't and you get turned over.

Cork's Patrick Horgan blasts a shot past  Westmeath's Darragh Egerton and Shane Clavin during the Allianz Division 1A NHL game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork's Patrick Horgan blasts a shot past  Westmeath's Darragh Egerton and Shane Clavin during the Allianz Division 1A NHL game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“With respect to Westmeath, today was really about focusing on us, see could we back a performance with a performance, with a performance and not bring any complacency into our game today. Secondly, we weren't taking anything for granted. 

We may have done that last year up in Westmeath and we were very, very lucky to get a result up there, really lucky. That was in the back of our minds today. 

"We didn't want to be in a dogfight with 15/20 minutes to go.”

Cork now have nearly a fortnight to prepare for the trip to All-Ireland and league champions Limerick and it’s a break that Kingston welcomes after a tough period since the return to on-pitch action.

“We have had three games in 21 days after having a six-month break, with three weeks’ training. The break is welcome. We'll give the lads a bit of downtime this week, get back at it then and prepare for Limerick in 13 days’ time. It is a good time to have a break, absolutely.”

NEW STYLE

Yesterday’s performance again saw Cork playing a possession-based movement style, which worked to good effect in terms of the goal creation. After the draw with Tipperary last week, it was something that came in for criticism but Kingston is unfazed.

“You’re always going to get that,” he said, “to be honest I don’t read much of it.

“My attitude is that we have a group of players and a backroom and we’re working together as a unit. We keep all other stuff outside the group and we try to do the best we can.

“If you go back to the championship last year, there were probably people who were maybe saying – if there were, and I’m not on any social media, so I can’t comment – about not hitting the ball long, down on top of a sweeper. They were probably the same people who were saying last week, ‘Why didn’t you hit it long?’ so you’re never going to win with some people!

I think the key thing is that a lot didn’t realise that Tipperary set up with a sweeper last week, so we had to work the ball a little bit differently. 

"Yes, at times, did we over-elaborate? A hundred percent, we went lateral at times too much, but the alternative was to puck it down on top of seven defenders against six attackers.”


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