ALL-IRELAND winning Cork manager Conor Counihan insists his side are ignoring ‘silly talk doing the rounds’ ahead of Sunday’s Munster SFC semi-final against Waterford at Páirc Ui Chaoimh.
The Rebels are 1/200 with Boylesports to win at the weekend and advance to a provincial decider while their opponents are 20/1 to claim victory.
However Counihan is doing his utmost to insulate his outfit from such a backdrop with the squad playing Monaghan in a challenge last week while he oversaw an A v B clash at Kilmichael GAA grounds on Saturday.
The Cork boss admitted: “To be asked to officially open the Kilmichael complex was a great honour. It was a welcome distraction from the Cork situation for a few hours — but you can never block it out altogether.
“There is a lot of silly talk doing the rounds that we have nothing to do on Sunday but to turn up.
“Anybody involved in this game knows there is no such thing as a racing certainty. We as a group of selectors and players know only too well the pitfalls out there. The slightest bit of complacency and it could all go belly up on you. As a consequence, the preparations for the Waterford game have been the same as they would be if we were meeting any other team. You learn an extra bit from every game you play, and the Monaghan game was very beneficial from that aspect. A versus B games tend to be a bit more relaxed, but credit to all the lads who played, they went all out, obviously looking to impress.”
A number of the fringe players impressed but Counihan was quick to point out that there is a massive difference between challenge games and the heat of inter-county championship football.
“We are very fortunate at present to have a lot of talented footballers coming through which augurs well for the future of the game, and it’s great to see them there tonight shaping up well. ” The Cork coach refused to accept that he had one eye on Killarney on July 2nd next, saying it would be foolish in the extreme to underestimate Waterford.
“They have a number of excellent footballers who have played on Munster teams with some of our lads, and they can hold their own in the best of company. Players like the O’Gorman brothers, Gary Hurney and Liam O Lionáin would make most county teams. Waterford have nothing to lose on Sunday and will have a right go off us.
“We will have to be ready for whatever they throw at us”.
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