Brian Cuthbert doesn’t need to be reminded of the enormity of the task facing Cork after Saturday’s defeat
With seven days to prepare for a qualifier against Kildare, they hope to become only the fourth provincial finalists to recover in such a short space of time and secure victory.
Dublin in 2001, Down in 2012 and Donegal the following year managed to bounce back but 13 other teams have tried and failed, including Cork back in 2001.
“It’s the ultimate test of the group isn’t it?” said Cuthbert. “Kildare have had a good run over the last couple of weeks and are going to be
difficult to beat. They’re going to bring a different challenge than what we’ve faced the last two games. I think it’s going to be very difficult. The players are very disappointed because they were extremely confident coming into this game that we could do what we needed to do.
“I would have felt for three-quarters of the game they had every right to be confident. But it’s going to be quite difficult to bring them around. It’s the challenge the whole group face now, management and players.
“By Saturday, we’re going to have to be ready.” The hurdle is all psychological, insisted the Bishopstown man. “The players are extremely fit. They’ll recover in a couple of days but mentally this is going to take a lot out of them.” Eoin Cadogan will be a major doubt for the game after missing Saturday’s replay having torn his hamstring in the drawn match on July 5. Cuthbert had no arguments with Maurice Deegan’s officiating although it appeared he should have played at least another two minutes of additional time in the second half. “We had no problem with the referee,”
He didn’t admit Kerry were deserving winners but acknowledged they were on top when it counted. “There was nothing between the teams until the Kerry goal. Once they got it, they were the better team for the last 15 minutes. That’s when the game is won.
” Going the final 26 minutes without a score was “extremely disappointing” for Cuthbert. “When you have 1-4 on the board at half-time and you have a strong behind you in the second half you expect maybe we’d kick on. We didn’t.
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