'The flak could drag you into gutter' - Brian Hurley on criticism of Cork footballers
Brian Hurley is aware of the stick flying in the direction of the Cork footballers but he's trying his best to ignore it.
It's been coming hot and heavy for the Leesiders since last weekend when defeat to Clare saw them hit another unwanted milestone.
Before last Sunday, they hadn't lost to the Banner in a competitive game in 20 years and that defeat followed on from a forgettable 2016 where they suffered relegation from the top flight as well as a first championship loss to Tipperary since 1944.
Having picked up a serious hamstring injury last year, Hurley has been on the outside looking in for much of the last year but is aware of how much flak Peadar Healy's side have been taking.
And Hurley insists that if his side don't ignore it, they could be dragged down by it all.
"I don't buy newspapers and I don't really listen to radio stations to be honest with you," Hurley said at the launch of an initiative that sees the GAA and the RNLI join forces to reduce the number of deaths through drowning.
"I'm coming back from a long enough time out and I'm trying to be as positive as possible and to get myself on the pitch. But if you do listen to that stuff you'll drag yourself into the gutter. It's hard to come out of that stuff then.
"I don't listen to people outside of our group. They don't know how hard we train, they don't know what's going on in the group. They don't know how positive we can be.
"Everybody is entitled to their opinion but at the end of the day I can only control myself and what I do in the panel, and it's up to everyone else to control themselves and all try to come together.
"We're amateurs, nobody goes out to lose. It's about being as positive as possible and trying to make the Cork people appreciate where they come from and make kids want to follow in your footsteps."
It's eight months since Hurley has played for Cork. The Rebels were in the process of trying to resurrect their season last July in the wake of the Tipp defeat when he tore the hamstring off the bone in a training game in Bishopstown.
And Hurley admits the comeback trail has been a lonesome and arduous one.
"You obviously ask yourself questions when you're in a brace for seven or eight weeks and on crutches. You can't get up and go and you have mood swings and what not.
"What I did when things got tough and you wanted to quit, was remind myself of why you started playing football and when you win and the winning feeling and it turns into motivation - 'Let's go to the gym today; let's push it on'."
The end is in sight. He's been back running for a few weeks now and on Sunday he'll line out for Castlehaven against Ballingeary in a Division 1 league game.
And he's hoping that game could put him in the frame for the Rebels' crucial Division 2 clash with Meath on Sunday week.
"Look, it's not my call (whether he will feature against Meath). I can do everything in my power to put myself in that position. Hopefully this weekend will go well and I'll get a few scores and play well through the game without any reactions.
"I'd love to play against Meath but that's down to management and hopefully I'll be going well enough for it."
Regardless of whether he features or not against Meath, Hurley wants Cork to produce a big response to their defeat at the hands of the Banner.
"Every game you play in Division 2 is very important. You're coming down from Division 1 and maybe some of the teams haven't been up there in a while so they want a cut off you and they're gunning to play you.
"It's a tough position but the big (aim) for us is Meath and we need to come away with a win in response to the Clare game."