Counihan calls for improvement from Cork

Conor Counihan is looking for a marked improvement from his Cork side after they needed extra-time to see off Limerick in last night's All-Ireland SFC fourth round qualifier.

Reacting to the scrappy 0-16 to 1-11 win, Counihan said: "We were four or five points up (in the closing stages of the second half) and looked to have the thing shut out, and we maybe missed a few other opportunities that we should have got.

"We didn't close it out, but look that's the name of the game. You play until the whistle.

"We lost a bit of focus for a minute or two, and in fairness to Limerick, they took their opportunities. 'Tis there now, 'tis done and we have to move on."

Cork have accounted for Cavan, Wexford and Limerick in recent weeks, and will face one of the provincial champions in the All-Ireland quarter-finals, the draw for which will be made this evening.

Counihan knows that his charges will have to find an extra gear or two if they are to challenge for the Sam Maguire Cup.

"Going on our level of performance (against Limerick), it wouldn't be satisfactory to get through an All-Ireland quarter-final.

"But, having said that we are still there...with the bit of bottle that we showed tonight, we are always there with a fighting chance.

"Fellas have been in and out with injury, and other guys coming back from injuries so we haven't had a full squad to pick from yet. Hopefully we can get closer (to a full panel) and get everyone fit."

Meanwhile, the relief afterwards was palpable for Cork wing back Paudie Kissane, the man-of-the-match at the Gaelic Grounds. He had expected a tight tussle with Limerick, and was just pleased his side had pulled through.

"As you could see with Limerick, the close games they have given Kerry and the close games that they have given us over the years - it was always going to be pretty close," he said.

"To be honest it was just some battle out there, and I'm just relieved that we got the win and that we are still in the Championship next week."

Kissane pointed to the enviable strength in depth in the Cork panel as a factor in the win, with substitutes like Nicholas Murphy, Donnacha O'Connor and Alan O'Connor making key contributions.

"We have 30 players who put in the same effort. There are a lot of fellas unlucky not to be starting.

"Conor says that you mightn't be starting, but be focused - nearly that the subs are more important, because they can make huge impact, and you could see that tonight."

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