BY KIERAN McCARTHY
BILLY Morgan is backing Cork to beat Tyrone this Saturday evening – and he is urging that patience is the key.
Cork must defeat the Ulster men in this Super 8s Group 2 second-round game to keep their hopes of advancing to an All-Ireland semi-final alive.
While Tyrone are favourites to win, and already beat Roscommon in their opening game last weekend, former Cork manager Morgan has seen enough to believe that Ronan McCarthy’s men can cause a shock in Croke Park.
‘Cork will have to be very patient against Tyrone. They are probably the best in the country at frustrating you, spoiling you and stopping you playing expansive football. Cork need to be patient. Don’t try and rush things. Keep the ball, move it around and wait for the openings. Be patient,’ Morgan told The Southern Star.
‘Even if they don’t win on Saturday and they go out of the championship, the important thing is that they give another good performance and that they go forward into next year, win Division 3 of the league, get promoted and head into next year’s championship on a positive note.
‘Having said all that I think we have a chance on Saturday of beating Tyrone and progressing. I believe Cork can win. But whatever happens, Cork will still go forward into next season with confidence. This has been very, very encouraging.’
Morgan is particularly pleased with the Cork attack that has scored 11-65 in four championship games, including 1-17 in the loss to All-Ireland champions Dublin last weekend.
‘The defensive system Cork played in the league was a failure and I’m delighted to see them go on the front foot and in an attacking formation,’ Morgan said.
‘They are putting up big scores. They got 1-17 against Dublin and I don’t think people realise how impressive that is. Instead, the talk has been about conceding five goals. If we can start tightening up in defence without having to go back to an ultra defensive system, then it’s all very encouraging.
‘There is scoring power in this team, it’s attractive to watch, they play at pace coming out of defence and they get the ball quickly into the full-forward line and the two lads inside.’
Morgan added: ‘Last year (in the Round 4 qualifier) against Tyrone Cork were beaten before they went out and there was no belief whatsoever whereas now it’s a whole different story. There is a confidence there now after their last few displays. With eight minutes to go against Dublin we were only a few points behind. Cork are bringing belief and confidence into games and they believe they can win, and when you have that there is nothing to fear then.’
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