Cork v Tipperary: Pat Ryan says Rebels won't be fazed by quick turnaround

“We're coming off a win so we should have plenty of energy and momentum going into that game.”
Cork v Tipperary: Pat Ryan says Rebels won't be fazed by quick turnaround

Cork manager Pat Ryan chatting with Davy Fitzgerald at the launch of the Dillon Quirke Foundation at Clonoulty-Rossmore GAA Club in Tipperary this week. The foundation are calling on all GAA clubs to provide €100 towards providing cardiac screening across the association. To donate, visit Picture: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

In the old days, a Munster championship win would allow some time for basking in the reflected glow of victory.

For instance, a Cork squad featuring current manager Pat Ryan beat Waterford in a provincial semi-final on June 13, 1999 and Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s side weren’t out again until the final against Clare on July 4.

In winning that year’s All-Ireland, Cork played four games from June 13-September 12. Compare that with this year – having opened against Waterford last Sunday, April 30, they will clock up their fourth encounter away to Limerick on May 28.

The heavy schedule also contrasts with the fact that the Waterford win was five weeks after Cork’s last outing, the Allianz Hurling League semi-final defeat to Kilkenny.

For Ryan, it’s a challenge in terms of preparation but not an insurmountable one.

“It's a mad thing but the bank holiday made a huge difference this week,” he says.

“Fellas were off and we were able to go away and do a recovery session and they didn't have to take a day off work or anything like that.

“They even got something out of the weekend themselves so we won't have any excuses next week as regards turnover. Clare were beaten by Tipperary and they went out six days later against Limerick and look at the performance that they delivered.

“We're coming off a win so we should have plenty of energy and momentum going into that game.”

Preparation for the opposition is naturally a bit part of the set-up nowadays and the focus turns to Tipperary tonight in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Ryan is delighted with the team he has in place for analysis.

“We have a fantastic group with us. One or two of the lads [Tomás Manning and Dave Nolan] were involved with Kieran. We brought in a couple of lads that were involved with us from the U20s [Peter O’Keeffe, Traolach Martin and Paul O’Sullivan].

“To be honest they do more work than us. They are at every game, they are everywhere. They are picking up all that stuff.

“The key for us is giving us stuff that we can work on straight away. There is reams and reams of information and stats, it is what is the stuff that is going to make a difference. That’s what we are looking at. What is the stuff that is really going to make a difference to us?

“In fairness, they are very good at that. They’ll give it to us in one page rather than 25 pages. What’s to work on, give us two or three things that we need to do, the same at half-time.”

Cork impressed last week, but analysis of the game caveated the performance with the fact that Waterford were poor. Ryan couldn’t do anything about that, though.

“Our back was shoved up against the wall before we got to the game,” he says, “so that's what I would look at.

“We'd expect to come on from the game last week, we hadn't played in five or six weeks, first championship match for a load of fellas but we have to come on hugely.

“We've lost nearly every first quarter or first half in the last six or seven years so it was key for us that we started well against Waterford and that was a real emphasis that we would go at them and that we would start hard at them.

“We got a good start. Fellas will say they weren't at their best or they were tired from the last day and we'll take that into account but we were very happy with our performance. We've loads of areas to work on, we didn't create enough goal opportunities, we didn't take the ball into the grass as much as we could have but they are all areas that we can work on the next day.”

The challenge will be different, not least in the fact that Tipp showed against Clare that they are hungry for goals.

“There's no doubt that Liam Cahill and Michael Bevans, throughout their tenure, no matter what team they were involved in, will always go hunting goals,” Ryan says.

“A small bit of it with us against Waterford was that we were trying to hold onto a lead, when you're trying to hold onto a lead it's nearly worse and you nearly give up more goal-scoring opportunities as opposed to going at it.

“We've to go out and attack Tipperary the next day, they're going to get goal opportunities, we've a fantastic goalie that can makes saves, he made a couple the last day and he'll be expected to make a couple the next day I assume.

“But whatever comes in that game, our job is to make sure that we've enough scores to win the game.”

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