WHAT is it about managers downplaying their sides' chances of success recently?
After his Manchester City side defeated Manchester United on Monday night in the City of Manchester stadium Roberto Mancini declared that it was United and not his side who were favourites to lift the league title. If only saying it made it so. New Dr Crokes boss was banging a similar drum in the aftermath of his side's impressive drubbing of Laune Rangers in Lewis Road on Sunday afternoon, which set up a title decider with Rathmore.
"Rathmore now are a totally different kettle of fish. Rathmore are good. They beat us in the semifinal last year. Rathmore will be favourites. They have the cup we haven't the cup. That's what it's all about. We want the cup. They have it, we want it. That's the way we're looking at it," he commented.
Whether anyone believes him is entirely up to them. Our guess would be that not many will make Rathmore favourites for this game.
Not because they aren't a good side, they are, they simply aren't quite as good a side as this exceptional Crokes outfit. We based that assessment partially on what happened in the semifinal, but mostly on their overall pedigree. Largely because, as O'leary points out, Sunday's game was hugely distored by the wind blowing down towards the town end of the ground.
"You couldn't read into it," O'leary said. "In the first half we were very good. In the second the wind destroyed the game. I suppose it was the same for Laune Rangers, it destroyed the game for them as well in the first half, but, look, we're in the final and that's all we're worried about."
"I'm only worrying about Rathmore now. Today is gone. It's a local rivalry. It's local football. It's good for football. It's a derby and that's what we're focussing on."
While refusing to get carried away as a result of their scintillating first half performance O'leary clearly has the utmost confidence in this bunch of footballers. "This are all good footballers," he confirmed.
"Every one of them could play with the county. We brought on Gavin O'shea today, he's on the county minors, look they're all quality players. They have to step up to the mark."
This is a championship that the Crokes have their eye on and have had their eye on it for some time, O'leary confirms.
"We haven't won it for the last three or four years. We're throwing all our eggs into the one basket this year: we're going to try and win this club championship, just in case something goes wrong along the year and we can't afford to see something slip."