Brian Cuthbert is only too happy that Cork are underdogs going into Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final.
As provincial runners-up playing provincial winners, it doesn’t surprise him that Mayo are expected to reach a fourth consecutive semi-final.
Having crashed to Kerry in the Munster decider, it didn’t matter how they reached Croke Park as long as they got there.
Cuthbert claims the team they are facing in six days are more physical than his.
“We went up to Castlebar in the league and they decimated us. We were five or so points up at one stage and they kicked the next 11 scores, including three goals.
“They’re a very experienced team, they’re very physical. And that’s an area we’re going to suffer in because we’re not a huge side.”
He’s not being defeatist but realistic after so many facets of the Cork set-up was fair game after the Kerry defeat earlier this month.
“Anyone playing an All-Ireland quarter-final, if they’re not going to give themselves a chance, they’re wasting their time. Certainly, we’re going in as underdogs. That suits us just fine. All we wanted to do was to get back into Croke Park for the August Bank Holiday weekend. Whatever way we got there didn’t matter. Our confidence, our character and everything else about us was questioned after the Munster final. Saturday doesn’t erase all that, certainly not because our performance was so poor (against Kerry). We’d like to think we came with a bit more desire and intensity than we did against Kerry. We played quite well at times.”
Cuthbert rubbished the idea Cork were hiding their hand from James Horan who took in the game in O’Connor Park.
“We were under so much pressure coming into this match, we just had to win it by hook or by crook. Showing a hand? I don’t know. When it comes to games, you’ve a set-up going into it and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. You’ve got to take each team on its merits.
“Mayo will cause us lots of different problems, with their size and their football. It’s going to be a very difficult ask. At the same time, we’re just very, very happy to be there.”
Cuthbert is satisfied his men are capable of changing their style again if needs be. “I’ve very clever players. Today it worked. Who knows what’s going to happen the next day. It’s a different game and we’re going to have to wait and see what we’re going to do. I’m just very, very pleased for the players that they’re going to Croke Park where they should be.”
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