Cuthbert: Strong ref important when facing ‘streetwise’ Mayo

Brian Cuthbert

Cork manager Brian Cuthbert says the match officials "will be very important" in this Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Mayo.

The Connacht champions are a far more experienced outfit than the Leesiders, whose manager described Mayo yesterday as “extremely streetwise.”

Asked whether he would want to have a strong referee in Croke Park next Sunday, Cuthbert said: “Absolutely, I think the referee’s going to be very important in this game. I wouldn’t want to paint our fellas as naive young fellas, but certainly they’re up against a team that’s extremely streetwise — every manager wants their team to be like that.

“They’ve been around the block and they know how to play the game. I think they’re very sure of how they want to play and they’re a difficult team to play against to be honest.

“This year lots of teams have caused them problems and I’d be hopeful that if we can get enough ball we can cause them some problems as well.”

Cuthbert paid tribute to Mayo for reaching two All-Ireland finals, though he also wondered if that need to win Sam Maguire would create more pressure within their camp.

“I think it will — if you lose two finals, close enough finals, and then you know you’ve five or six games to win this, then that does put pressure on you, but that’s for them to deal with themselves.

“For us it’s about taking them on, being right and there’s huge motivation for us. And there’s pressure on us, too.

“[Mayo] know this is their moment, that they need to grab this moment after losing two All-Ireland finals. This year, they know it’s a now or never situation.

“They’ve changed their team around, putting Aidan O’Shea at centre-forward and bringing in some new players. They’ll be a very difficult team to beat, I’d say for most people they’re second favourites for the All-Ireland and we’re well down the pecking order.”

The Cork manager confirmed that he will be picking from a full panel for the weekend. He said: “We’re fine, we have a very good medical team, very good strength and conditioning coach, we’ve gone through the season largely, with everybody.

“Donncha [O’Connor] had a hamstring injury last week, he was going very well but he picked up an injury last Sunday week. We hope he’ll be fine this week. Apart from that there’s only Kevin Crowley, who has a serious injury and who’s out of bounds.”

Cuthbert confirmed that Andrew O’Sullivan left the panel last week.


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