WITH two wins from two, Cork are doing as well as they can in the early Division 3 stakes and Ruairí Deane wants the team to keep improving as the national league goes on.
The Bantry Blues man was again to the fore in the win over Leitrim but, while Cork won by nine points, he knows that there is still considerable room for improvement.
At this time of year, points on the board are as important as performance, as Deane is aware.
‘I suppose you want both, really,’ he says.
‘The points won’t come without the performance anyway, but there are elements of the game on Sunday that we’d be happy with and elements that we want to improve on going forward for the rest of the league campaign and into the championship.
‘For a while, it looked like we were playing a game of table-tennis, it was up and the down and the ball wasn’t going out of play at all.
‘They were challenging conditions I suppose but that’s no excuse for bad execution of skills as well.
‘We’re all inter-county footballers and we should all have the ability for, say, simple handpasses that go astray and things like that. There’s no excuse for those.’
As with the opening game against Cavan, Cork had to wear down their opponents in the first half. It’s not something Deane feels the team plans for but they are ready for whatever lies in wait.
‘We’re just going out to try to play good football and get the best performance out of every individual and as a team,’ he says.
‘We’re not directly targeting any opposition, we know that there are no easy battles. We have Down this weekend, that should be a very tough game down in the Páirc.
‘I can’t say we’re targeting trying to wear teams down and taking it as it comes, but we’re definitely trying to play the best football that we can and get the best out of ourselves.’
And, while Down are coming to Páirc Uí Chaoimh this Sunday afternoon (2pm) with three points after two games, it’s too early to call it a promotion decider.
‘You can’t really look at it like that,’ Deane says.
‘It’s only your third league game, there’s a good spell left there. It is one of the bigger tests you’re going to come up against this year, they’re a good footballing side, not too long ago they were playing Cork in the 2010 All-Ireland final.
‘They’re definitely a good side that you have to respect but we want to get the best out of ourselves too.’