It’s tough at the top, says Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice

Eamonn Fitzmaurice last night offered words of consolation to his Cork football counterpart, Brian Cuthbert, in the wake of the Rebels’ shock exit from the Championship.

It’s tough at the top, says Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice

The 2014 All-Ireland-winning manager described top-level management as a “tough business” but had empathy for another one of the game’s young managers.

“Of course, from Brian Cuthbert’s point of view, it’s a tough situation. He and his management team I’m sure are putting absolutely everything into it, no more than we do.

“And, when the results aren’t going your way then, it’s a tough business – there’s no doubt about it. The one thing about being a player, there’s strength in numbers when you’re a player. When you’re the manager, you are out there on your own. From a human point of view, that’s not a very nice place to be.”

Kerry prepare for another trip to Croke Park this weekend where Cork’s conquerors, the Lilywhites, await in an All Ireland quarter-final.

However, a nation expected Cork to overcome Kildare last weekend had the Rebels reproduced the form from the drawn Munster final.

Fitzmaurice agreed: “You would have had to fancy Cork, of course. But, evidently they put a lot into winning the Munster championship, and when it didn’t work out then, there was obviously disappointment and there appeared to be a big downer in it for them.

“Now, if Cork had played like they can play, and played the way they played against us the first day, you would have expected Cork to beat Kildare, but they did not reproduce that form on Saturday night, for whatever reason. The Munster championship seemed to have taken a good bit out of them. It is hard to assess why Cork played so poorly from the outside, but I think that you have to give a lot of credit to Kildare. They played very well, they played with serious pace and energy.

“They looked fresh and a lot of fellas played very well for them. So ok, Cork are disappointed - and I think that they will be very disappointed with their second-half performance in particular - but these games can swing on very small things. “Conor Dorman hit the crossbar and Kildare went down and Niall Kelly got the goal, a minute or two later and after that then, really the momentum was with Kildare.”

The Kerry boss has no injury worries ahead of Sunday’s game, apart from Kieran O’Leary, and the Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne teacher was keen to stress he wasn’t surprised that Kerry are preparing to face a Kildare side playing with a “vibrancy” and “momentum”.

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