BY DENIS HURLEY
CORK football selector Eoin O’Neill feels that the Rebels’ results are giving a false impression of the good work being done within the camp, and believes that an injection of confidence would have an exponential effect.
On Sunday, Cork face Meath in an important Allianz FL Division 2 tie in Páirc Uí Rinn (2pm), coming off the back of a defeat to Clare a fortnight ago. With three games in remaining, the Royals are a point ahead of Peadar Healy’s side in fifth place and need a win to keep their promotion hopes alive.
O’Neill is calling for a performance from Cork, hoping a good result will follow. While he accepts that intercounty football is a results-based business, too much negativity is being extrapolated from individual games.
‘That’s the reality of it,’ he says, ‘it’s down to results, but this team prepare as well as any I’ve seen, going back to when Cork were contending for All-Irelands.
‘There’s a lot of sensationalism applied, I suppose you’d call it the “Sky Sports generation”. I’m not saying people can’t have an opinion, but there has to be some balance applied and things put into perspective.
‘These lads are amateurs, like the management, we have to go to work on the Monday, but I can promise you that everybody is looking at every aspect of this. That’s why the Clare game was disappointing, it felt as if we had turned a corner with the Fermanagh win.’
As well as the injured Brian Hurley, Cork are still waiting for Eoin Cadogan to return to full fitness while Seán Powter, John Mullins and Gary Murphy are tied up with the county U21s.
A win would go a long way towards removing ‘bad energy’, O’Neill feels.
‘I genuinely believe that there is just a piece or two of the jigsaw missing,’ he says, ‘one that would give the team confidence.
‘When you lose a game or two, things come down on you hard. Lads are only human and they’re suffering a bit, but what I will say is that they are very resilient.
‘They’re out there trying to represent Cork as best they can, nobody can say that they’re not. They’re tough on themselves and what we need is for that to manifest itself in a reaction against Meath.
‘If we get a performance, then hopefully there’ll be a positive result to go with it. All we’re trying to do is to get things rolling in the right direction and then see where that takes us.’