HE’S been around the block a few too many times to lose the run of himself, and Conor Counihan wasn’t going to do so yesterday.
His Cork side enjoyed an easy win over Clare but for a manager there are always ways to douse expectations.
“It’s a job done,” said Counihan.
“There were periods of the game when defensively we’d be disappointed with our performance.
“We turned over a lot of ball and Clare were in the game for a long time and the scoreline flatters the result.
“Look, we’re through to the next round — there’s plenty of work to be done and now it’s Waterford in two weeks’ time. That’ll be a different challenge.”
The Cork boss acknowledged Clare had come into the game after the break.
“We were disappointed more than worried that we didn’t push on more and take those goal chances that we had.
“In the second half they got three good points and there was a chance they could push on from there but thankfully we held our nerve a bit and got the few scores.”
Counihan also pointed out that Cork had spurned several goal chances in the first half which, if converted, would have made the second less stressful.
“We could have made life an awful lot easier for ourselves if we had got one or two of those, but we’re doing that with a while, it’s something we need to work at. But it gives us something to work on.”
Moving on from the incident involving Clare’s Graham Kelly(“I suppose you’d prefer not to see it, but that’s it now”), Counihan preferred to focus on his own players.
“Ciaran (Sheehan) was quite sharp on the day but we need to improve a good bit on that performance going on in the championship.
“It’s important for Graham (Canty) and these guys to get game-time because that’s what it’s all about now. It’s the championship. He did quite well considering it was his first day back.”
Asked to comment on his midfielders, Counihan spread the credit around: “It was probably more about breaking ball and working hard in midfield today, and in fairness to the people around there they did well.
“Donncha (O’Connor) was also going well throughout the game, showing well, but there are bigger tests ahead for us all.”
Bigger tests. More work. What you might have expected.
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