'Maybe things don't come as easy as they once did,' admits Cooper
Colm Cooper says he may have to accept that "things don't come as easy as they once did" for him despite his telling impact in the Munster football final replay on Saturday night.
Cooper came off the bench for the last 28 minutes against Cork and brought a composure to Kerry's forward play in addition to creating the opening for Paul Geaney's game-changing goal.
He admitted "frustration" at not making the team for the drawn game and replay but with his sights set on Croke Park, "one of my favourite venues" he's in a better frame of mind.
"I've always set high standards of myself and the expectation is always high, so when you don't meet it you get disappointed. Maybe frustrated is the word sometimes too," he said.
"Sometimes I have to keep reminding myself that I was away for the game for so long with a serious injury.
"Maybe things don't come as easy as they once did, that you have to work that little bit harder for them and that's fine. If that's the way it is, that's okay.
"For me, getting to my expectations is more important than everybody else's expectations because I need to reach a certain level to make sure I'm in this Kerry team and playing my part."
The eight-time All Star started against Tipperary in the Munster semi-final and is adamant his fitness is not an issue.
"It was (fine) in Thurles. I think I have (required fitness) but it's up to the management.
"If you're out for 14 months you can't expect to be up to 70 minutes of Championship football.
"I have all the confidence in them that they'll make the right decision for me.
"I'm much happier than I was this time two weeks ago. It didn't work the last day, for whatever reason. We were struggling in a number of areas and I didn't get a chance to get on the ball as much, but tonight was different."
The Dr Crokes man feels the added game will serve both teams well in the weeks ahead.
"We've gone in cold in quarter-finals and performed poorly. Against Galway last year we weren't really at it," he said. "We struggled through the game. Cavan, the year before, I didn't play particularly well.
"Maybe the fact that there's not a huge gap will help us but also the fact that we've had two really competitive games against a Cork side that, two months ago, were written off as no-hopers."