Mark Landers has issued an emotional call to arms to Cork players ahead of next Saturday’s qualifier meeting with Dublin in Thurles.
The All-Ireland-winning Cork captain was bitterly disappointed with the lack of fight shown in the Munster semi-final defeat by Waterford.
Speaking on the Irish Examiner GAA Podcast, in association with Renault Ireland, Landers said: “I know the club championship didn’t give the players as much preparation time as you might want. We can make as many excuses as we want, but you can’t make excuses for a team that doesn’t stand up and go toe to toe.
“If you only go for 40 minutes, give me what you’ve got and we’ll replace you with somebody else. But these players are not giving their all.”
Also speaking on the podcast, former Tipperary manager Ken Hogan expressed admiration for the job Liam Cahill has done with Waterford, recounting a story from Cahill’s term as Tipp minor boss.
“It was the year they won the All-Ireland having come back through the round-robin after being beaten. They played a challenge game after being beaten and they togged out in club colours. And he said, ‘lads, you won't get a Tipperary jersey again until ye earn it'."
Landers now wants Cork players to earn the famous blood and bandage jersey all over again. And he hopes they properly mark the centenary of Christy Ring’s birth with a rebound performance against the Dubs.
“That Liam Cahill story with the jerseys, that could be thrown at Cork at the moment. I don’t think those players gave 100%.
“When I saw all the stuff about Ring on Friday, there was a tear in my eye and my heart was thumping. I said to myself, they’ll surely come out and show the honour and the pride in Cork, on Ring’s birthday.
“It’s a tough draw against Dublin. We’re wounded. We want to see a response. We went to the Gaelic Grounds and turned over Limerick last year. Cork have the ability to do it.
“The pressure is on to come out fighting and honour Ring. It’s only the week after his birthday. We are a very proud county. Kieran Kingston, Ger Cunningham and Diarmuid O’Sullivan need to get this team lifting off the ground. They only have six days to do it.
“The county will be 100% behind them. But any Cork player that doesn't turn up next Saturday should consider his position for 2021, it’s as simple as that.”
Former Limerick manager TJ Ryan believes the Cork gameplan needs a tweak before the do-or-die contest with Mattie Kenny’s side.
“These are good hurlers. To me there's a system breakdown. I do think the intelligence is around the setup to fix it. They are in between systems. They don’t have a gameplan that suits Cork. If they fix that, the scoring power is there.
“They are genuine guys, they are top-class hurlers, I’ve seen them close to winning an All-Ireland a couple of years ago. I think the system is breaking down. They have a short window to fix that.”