Robbie O'Flynn ‘It’s a Cork thing. We perform when our backs are to the wall’

Cork attacker Robbie O’Flynn has sounded a word of warning ahead of this weekend’s Munster SHC clash with Waterford.

Robbie O'Flynn ‘It’s a Cork thing. We perform when our backs are to the wall’

Cork attacker Robbie O’Flynn has sounded a word of warning ahead of this weekend’s Munster SHC clash with Waterford. The Déise come to Páirc Uí Chaoimh on the back of three disappointing losses but O’Flynn says he and his teammates aren’t taking them for granted.

“Coming in for the game with Waterford it would be easy to drop the ball and to take it easy in training after a win — getting complacent after a win, especially a big win against the All-Ireland champions, could happen but we know how good Waterford are and how tough they are to play against.

“The assumption that this is down in our own place and everything is against Waterford is the trap that you could fall into. We have to keep a level head and realise how good they really are.

“Waterford are an excellent side with some great players and it’s very difficult to play against them. It’s all about taking it one day at a time, there’s no looking to potential Munster finals or anything like that. Waterford are the next game and that is where our focus is right now.”

Cork had to turn their own season around after their opening defeat to Tipperary, which they did with an away win over All-Ireland champions Limerick.

The game in the Gaelic Grounds was a great match, everyone just had the right attitude really from the minute the whistle went.

“After the Tipperary game we just sat down for a minute — we all knew there was just a few things that we needed to tweak a bit from that performance and everybody learned from that and just showed up with the right attitude for the Limerick game.

“There was a bit of history there that kind of upped the game a bit more as well but overall we are happy enough with the way we played. Now all we need to do is to keep that bar high and don’t go below it.

“I don’t think there’s a puck of a ball between any of the teams in Munster as far as I am concerned.

“Of course, there’s history there with Limerick but people I think can be very quick to write teams off after one loss or one disappointing performance. For us, it is about keeping everything inside the camp and keeping a cool head — if we do that then you can’t go too far wrong.”

O’Flynn acknowledges he’d “be lying” if he said he kept a “cool head all the time”.

“There’s room for panic everywhere. You would be lying if you said you were all calm and were able to keep a cool head all the time — the truth has to come out sometimes so sometimes you say what you have to say then fix it and go back to the training pitch and go again.

“We thought we were ready for Tipperary, the mindset was perfect and I felt that it was the same against Limerick but what there against Limerick was an edge. There was something in the air. You could feel it coming up in the bus – everyone kind of knew what they had to do.

There was a complete clarity and we knew that we had to implement it then. It’s a real Cork thing really, when your backs are to the wall, we always seem to manage to perform.

Cork have had to manage a three-week break since the high of the Limerick win, but O’Flynn says the battle for starting places helps.

“It’s all really full of ups and downs in this championship with the break like it is, but really it is about getting the balance and the workload right in between the games that is key - and doing your own recovery is essential.

“Once the team is going well and everyone is fit without too many injuries it (the break) should work out ok. That (battle for places) is kind of helping the team to perform.

“There are 25 or 26 players that both the management and players know can come on and do the same job as the starting 15 and that gives you great confidence as a player out there to know that you can leave it all out there and the one that will come in behind you can come in and do the same job.

“You still have to be smart in the effort, though. Wing-forwards would obviously have to put in a massive workload compared to the full forward or full back line but that all depends on the game. You have to be intelligent in what you do and be smart about the runs you make and when you make them.

“The one thing that is really obvious to me is the competition for places is unreal. John (Meyler, manager) has been really honest with everyone saying, ‘if you perform you will play’ and that culture is around the camp.

“Everyone realises now that if they do well they will be playing so that pushes everyone on.”

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