BY JOHNNY CAROLAN
WHILE Cork selector Diarmuid O’Sullivan was happy to have got off to a successful start in the league, he was keen to make clear that it was just one result.
Cork take on Tipperary at 7.30 in Semple Stadium, live on Eir Sport, this evening night and the focus had already turned to that game by the time O’Sullivan spoke to the media after last Sunday's 5-22 to 1-17 win over Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
‘It’s one win,’ he said, ‘it’s one win in the league and we’re not going to get carried away.
‘We know that we’ve an awful lot of work to do and next Saturday’s night challenge is the next one.
‘We keep going back to it, that’s the next focus, what we have to bring to the table to beat Tipp next Saturday.
‘I think that this league is hugely important for us,’ O’Sullivan said.
‘We’ve changed our squad and we’re not lucky enough to have been in a position where we’re challenging for titles the last couple of years so every game is important for us.’
In that regard, there were positives to be taken, with the caveat that the room for improvement is substantial.
‘There are a few positives,’ he said.
‘We used the ball well, we retained the ball well. We worked incredibly hard without the ball and I think it has been a focus for us. Can we improve? One hundred percent.
‘Success in the All-Ireland over the last number of years has been down to work-rate, getting around the field, helping each other.
‘If we’re to be successful, we need to take that mantra on board as well.’
To that end, a five-goal tally was encouraging.
‘Any day you score five goals, you always have a chance of winning the game,’ O’Sullivan said.
‘It’s not about any one individual, we have a collective, we’ve 36 guys who’ve dedicated themselves really well.
‘We refreshed our panel and we felt that it was important to bring in younger guys.
‘A couple of lads came in and did really well.’
And ultimately, that is what will determine team-selection.
‘There are no guarantees or no automatics in this squad,’ O’Sullivan said.
‘That has been set out and every guy knows where he stands. If you’re not fit, you have to pass the fit-to-play protocol over the next week and if you’re doing well enough in training, you’ll get a game.
‘It’s as simple as that.’