Cork v Clare: Teddy McCarthy on the hurlers' lack of a Plan B and where Mark Coleman and Jack O'Connor should play

“I walked out of the Limerick game because I basically couldn’t take any more."
Cork v Clare: Teddy McCarthy on the hurlers' lack of a Plan B and where Mark Coleman and Jack O'Connor should play

Cork manager Kieran Kingston has plenty to ponder before the Clare game. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

CORK GAA icon Teddy McCarthy believes a number of questions need to be answered and new strategies put in place before Cork play Clare in the Munster championship at Thurles on Sunday.

McCarthy was furious after witnessing Cork put in a poor shift against Limerick and shared his thoughts on Cork’s recent problems.

Plan B: 

“Cork will always do well against moderate teams but when they come against managers like John Kiely and Liam Cahill they consistently struggle. Not having a Plan B is a major problem because in my book if you are digging a hole and you come back in the morning and it's full again then something is drastically wrong with your method.” 

Failure in finals: 

“There are only two finals you can get to in senior hurling and credit to Cork they have reached both in the space of 12 months. On the flip side, we have been defeated in both finals by an average of 11 points.” 

Defence: 

“The bottom line is looking at our performances in big games our defence is not working and certainly not creative enough. When I listen to people telling me the game has evolved I actually laugh and just looking at our goalkeeper Patrick Collins he pucked out a few long balls when the short pass wasn’t working and we couldn’t gain any possession.

“When Sean O’Donoghue got caught in possession the one thing any player should know is to get rid of the ball when you are in trouble and it doesn’t actually matter where it lands at the other side of the pitch.” 

Cork's system: 

“It's sticking out a mile that some of our present players are not showing their full potential in this present Cork system. I was on the 13-yard line against Limerick and I could have shook hands with Conor Lehane so my concern is what was the corner-forward doing back there?”

Beating the high press: 

“I watched Limerick when they were playing the short puck-outs and they had four defenders and what did Cork have only three forwards. 

Technically Limerick had the overlap straight away but what are the management doing to rectify this as it looks clearly some players don’t know what to do when it breaks down.

“I am trying to be as positive as I can but the management are persisting with this so-called high press and to me it is clear it’s not working.” 

Mark Coleman: 

“When you are playing as a sweeper you are supposed to pick up loose ball but I will leave it to the genuine Cork follower to tell you this tactic is not working.

Mark Coleman. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Mark Coleman. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

“When teams get up to midfield they are able to bypass Coleman and you could see that Limerick spread the ball to the wings in the first half and were unlucky to have four or five wides.

“The centre-back in any side is the prince on the pitch and at the moment Cork hurling haven’t got that player.” 

Poor supply to the forwards: 

“Getting back to Sean O’Donoghue being caught in possession that was down to clever Limerick defending as they left him come to the 45 and then drew a ring of green steel but to be fair to him he had nobody to pass the ball to.

“I actually looked up and seen Patrick Horgan with four Limerick players around him and that sums up the pressure the Cork forwards are presently under when they face the elite sides.” 

Jack O’Connor: 

“People will think I am wearing my Sars hat when bringing up the demotion of Jack O’Connor but can I remind people he was our nearest player to an All-Star last season.

Cork's Jack O'Connor and Waterford's Neil Montgomery. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton
Cork's Jack O'Connor and Waterford's Neil Montgomery. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton

“I cannot see that he is gone back that far because it's impossible to judge him on his game-time but I do know he is one of the quickest forwards in this country.

“Is it a coincidence that when Jack O’Connor has been brought off the bench he hasn’t done the business but when Shane Kingston is introduced as a sub he seems to relish it? Food for thought.” 

Frustration: 

“I walked out of the game with 10 minutes left because I basically couldn’t take any more. It gives me no great pleasure to vent my anger but I am a shareholder of Cork GAA and I am hoping somebody comes up with a solution because the Limerick game wasn’t easy to watch for many of us.” 

Cork management: 

“The Cork management need to stand up to be counted as we suddenly haven’t become a bad side overnight. It has now come to the stage that the coaching staff need to make changes although I am not saying radical ones.

“I rest my case with a player like Mark Coleman playing superbly at wing-back and consistently on the scoreboard and suddenly he is a centre-back not closing down his opposition and not scoring.

“Let me add I have great respect for Mark Coleman as a hurler and hopefully he will be back doing what he does best in the coming weeks.”

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