Kieran Kingston: League is all about building a panel for championship

'We’ve taken an attitude of rotating four or five each game...'
Kieran Kingston: League is all about building a panel for championship

Cork manager Kieran Kingston and selector Diarmuid O'Sullivan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

IN A sense, Cork were in a no-win situation ahead of a game where they were such hot favourites but manager Kieran Kingston was nevertheless pleased with how his team weren’t shaken from the task at hand.

“In a game like that, you’re kind of damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t,” he said.

“If you don’t win by 20 points, you’re no good, and if you do win by 20 points, you should have won by 30, so it’s difficult to know what to take from it.

“I suppose I wouldn’t look at that game in its own right. I said it before the start of the league that we would look at things after three games and have a better sense of where we’re at.”

And is he happy with where that is?

“In principle, yeah,” he said.

“Three weeks ago, if you’d said to me that we’d have five points on the board after three games, I’d have accepted it, given that we were playing the All-Ireland finalists and then the All-Ireland champions of two years ago. Two games at home, we’d have taken that.

This has given us the opportunity to, number one, build a bit of momentum but also to look at some of our panel.

“We’ve taken an attitude of rotating four or five each game and again today, obviously by the end it was a lot more than that but that gives us an opportunity to see if we can give guys a chance and also to build a squad for the championship.”

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

However, despite the one-sided final scoreline, Kingston felt that Cork’s performance in the early part of the match left something to be desired.

“If you look back over the game, I think our first quarter was sloppy and poor,” he said.

“Okay, the goal kind of settled us a bit, but I think we really didn’t settle until the water break.

“We had a few bad wides. We were sloppy coming out of defence. Our decision-making, at times, was poor. I think it took the break, after which we pushed up on their puck-outs and got our shape a little bit better and our decision-making was better.

“I thought we had a very good second quarter and a very good third quarter. But absolutely, our first quarter was poor.”

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