Pointless after their opening three Division 1 games ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Tyrone to Killarney, Kerry have scored just three points after the break against Dublin and 1-2 in their loss to Mayo.
Fitzmaurice argues the Castlebar defeat is not a fitness issue as they missed 1-4 in scoring chances.
“There is too much being made of a fadeout. A team gets life when they get scores. We had chances in the second half and we didn’t take them.
“There was a period in the second half if we had converted our chances, we’d probably have been the team with energy at the end.”
Fitzmaurice makes three changes from the team that lost to Mayo — Brian Kelly replacing Brendan Kealy as he rotates keepers again, Fionn Fitzgerald coming in for Aidan O’Mahony at centre-back and Bryan Sheehan replaces Conor Cox.
Cork’s midfield options have been dented by the news Ruairí Deane has suffered a torn cruciate ligament and is out for the season.
The Bantry man picked up the injury training on Wednesday and will undergo surgery this month.
Cork face Derry tomorrow.
Rebels U21 manager Sean Hayes names half a dozen of the team that lost last year’s All-Ireland final for Wednesday’s Munster quarter-final with Kerry in Tralee. Captain Conor Dorman, Brian O’Driscoll, Sean Kiely, Ian Maguire, Mark Sugrue and Dan MacEoin are all included. Cathal Vaughan, who was a substitute against Galway, is also in the side while Alan Cadogan, a starter in the final, is in the substitutes. The team boasts six of the UCC panel which won the Sigerson Cup.
KERRY (AFL v Tyrone): B Kelly; P Murphy, M Griffin, S Enright; P Crowley, F Fitzgerald, M Ó Sé; A Maher, D Moran; D Casey, B Sheehan, D Walsh; BJ Keane, S O’Brien, J O’Donoghue.
Subs: B Kealy; A O’Mahony, P Geaney, C Cox, B McGuire, J Sherwood, M Geaney, J Buckley, P Kilkenny, Darran O’Sullivan, K O’Leary.
KILDARE (AFL v Dublin): S Connolly; M O’Grady, M Foley, H McGrillen; K Murnaghan, F Conway, Cribbin; T Moolick, G White; C McNally, E O’Flaherty, S Hurley; P Brophy, T O’Connor, D Mulhall.
MEATH (AFL v Donegal): P O’Rourke; D Keogan, K Reilly, M Burke; P Harnan, B Menton, E Harrington; A Tormey, S O’Rourke; D Tobin, D Carroll, B McMahon; E Wallace, S Bray, M Newman.
DOWN (AFL v Galway): S Harrison; D McCartan, B McArdle, O Costello; R Boyle, A Carr, C Garvey; P Turley, R Mallon; K McKernan, M Poland, C Maginn; D O’Hare, N Madine, J Johnston.
MONAGHAN (AFL v Louth): R Beggan; R Wylie, D Wylie, F Kelly; C Walshe, D Mone, P Keenan; G Doogan, P Finlay; K Hughes, C McGuinness, P Donaghy; D Malone, J McCarron, C McManus.
LIMERICK (AFL v Wexford): D O’Sullivan; P Browne, J McCarthy, M O’Riordan; J Riordan, S Lucey, I Corbett; T Lee, G Heraghty; S Buckley, D Treacey, M Brosnan; G Collins, J Mullane, I Ryan.
CAVAN (AFL v Sligo): C Gilsenan; J Hayes, K Brady, J McLoughlin; F Flanagan, J McEnroe, M McKeever; G McKiernan, D O’Reilly; C Mackey, N McDermot, M Reilly; K Tierney, M Dunne, D Givney.
TIPPERARY (AFL v Clare): P Fitzgerald; A Campbell, J Coghlan, A Morrissey; R Kiely, P Acheson, D Leahy; S O’Brien, G Hannigan; P Austin, B Grogan, C McCullagh; B Fox, M Quinlivan, C Sweeney.
CORK (U21FC v Kerry): M Martin (Nem); J Davis (Douglas), C Dorman (Bishopstown), S Cronin (Nemo Rangers); B O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCárthaigh), S White (Clonakilty), K Crowley (Millstreet); D Murphy (Valley Rovers), I Maguire (St Finbarr’s); M Sugrue (Bandon), C O’Sullivan (Clyda Rovers), S Kiely (Ballincollig); D MacEoin (Ilen Rovers), D Harrington (Adrigole), C Vaughan (Ivleary).
Subs: J McDonnell (St Finbarr’s); S Ryan (St Finbarr’s), K Fulignati (Nemo), K Histon (Cobh), K Kavanagh (Carrigaline), A Cadogan (Douglas), C McIntyre (Carrigaline), J Corkery (Aghabullogue), K O’Hanlon (Kilshannig).