Saturday 3 December 2016

It's up to the Cork players to put things right - Nash

Published 13/05/2015 | 02:30

Cork captain Anthony Nash
Cork captain Anthony Nash
3 May - Anthony Nash, Cork goalkeeper. Allianz Hurling League, Division 1 Final, Cork v Waterford (Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE)

Cork hurling captain Anthony Nash admits they are still "hurting" from their league final defeat at the hands of Waterford but insists they have enough time before the championship kicks off to put things right.

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The Cork panel returned to club duty the week after losing out to the Déise in the Semple Stadium clash but will return to collective training next week.

Their Munster campaign opens against the league champions and Nash insists it's up to the players to ensure they overturn the result and dispatch Derek McGrath's emerging young side.

"When we go onto the field inside the white lines it's up to us," Nash said at the launch of Cul Heroes, the new official trading card of the GAA.

"I suppose after a loss you hear a lot more comments than you would after a victory and you have to take it on the chin.

"It's the way we are, we are put in that position, we're all hurting. There is no point in saying otherwise.

"On the Sunday coming home (from the league final) on the bus we were all hurting.

"We wanted to win the league when we were in the final. It doesn't matter what game you are in, you want to win it.

"We'd a brief meeting with the management inside in the dressing room and they addressed a few issues.

"The positive is you're going away with the club, which can be a positive and negative, gives your mind a chance to rest.

"The game is done and dusted. If we can learn from our mistakes and push on for championship, that's all we can do as a team really.

"I know it's a cliché but that's all we can honestly do."

Jimmy Barry-Murphy's side are out to defend their provincial title and despite the trend of Munster champions struggling in the All-Ireland semi-final stage, Nash insists the front door is still the best way to go.

After winning their province last year, Cork went five weeks without a game before contesting their All-Ireland semi-final against a Tipperary side who had played more regularly in their back door run.

"The back door teams coming through, they're getting extra games and it's more competitive but you're also taking a huge risk," Nash argued.

"We saw what happened with Kilkenny and Tipperary in Nowlan Park there a few years ago when they drew each other and one of the biggest teams in Tipperary were knocked out.

"You don't want to say, 'Oh we'll lose the Munster Championship and go through the back door'. I want a five-week lay-off if it means we're Munster champions. I'll take it, no bother at all.

"I wouldn't put the blame down on the five-week gap last year. Tipperary turned up on the day, they got the goals when they needed to get the goals and they won the game.

"We didn't play well but Tipp didn't let us as well and that is the other side of it. We hope we put ourselves in the same position and give ourselves an opportunity in an All-Ireland semi-final."

Irish Independent

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