Thursday 29 September 2016

We can either pack it in and cry, or we can go back and have a good fight - Schutte

Published 29/06/2016 | 02:30

Mark Schutte feels the qualifier clash with Cork is the ideal opportunity for Dublin to bounce back from their Kilkenny loss. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
Mark Schutte feels the qualifier clash with Cork is the ideal opportunity for Dublin to bounce back from their Kilkenny loss. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Mark Schutte was a frustrated spectator as Kilkenny powered their way past his Dublin side in the Leinster semi-final.

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A calf muscle injury kept the forward out of that game and he's one of a number of walking wounded heading into Saturday night's make-or-break clash with Cork in Pairc Ui Rinn. Mark's brother Paul is also struggling with a finger injury.

And the prognosis isn't good on either Cian Boland or Peter Kelly, with the latter needing Dublin to embark on an extended run in the back door if he is to see any action this summer after suffering a setback in his rehabilitation from a knee injury.

The Dubs shipped a further blow this week when Na Fianna's Joey Boland opted out of the panel, following on from Colm Cronin's decision to step away from the team in the build-up to the Kilkenny game.

Those setbacks come on the back of the decision of Danny Sutcliffe, one of the Dublin's star performers over the last few years, to opt out of the squad before the start of the year, meaning manager Ger Cunningham heads to his native Cork bereft of a host of experienced performers.

Swinging

But despite the setbacks, Schutte expects his side to come out swinging after their disappointing show against the Cats in O'Moore Park.

"It's really up to the leaders on the team now to really step up and drive the team on," said the Cuala forward.

"We can go one of two ways: we can either pack it in and just cry about what happened there or we can go back and have a good fight at it.

"Plenty of teams have gone on and won All-Irelands through the back door. That's going to have to be our ambition.

"Go and target that match and really get a bit of redemption from (the Kilkenny game). Obviously everyone is disappointed the way it ended against Kilkenny and you don't want to end your season like that.

"It's great that we have another chance to prove ourselves again. It's great to get another shot at it and not leave the summer like we did against Kilkenny."

Schutte could only look on from the stands as Kilkenny ran riot in the second half in Portlaoise, outscoring the Dubs by 1-13 to 0-5.

"It's a lot easier playing these matches. At least then you feel like you can do something but yeah, you're just a spectator," he said.

"During the first half, I was quite happy watching it. It was comfortable viewing. We looked like we had put ourselves in a comfortable position to go and win the game.

"But the 15 minutes after half-time was definitely tough. You felt you could have made an impact. But yeah, it's probably something we'll have to work on - those 15 minutes after half-time.

"They pushed up on our puck outs and then they broke us down a bit. They put the squeeze on and worked themselves into the game a little bit more. In the first half, we met them with a good intensity and didn't let them play.

"Then, we probably stepped off them a little bit, which probably gave them space to breathe.

"If you step off Kilkenny in any way, they'll hit you with 1-8 in 15 minutes. That's what happened to us. And it's something we'll address.

"Because give them any chance whatsoever and they'll take it."

Ability

Despite the no-show in that second half, Schutte still believes Dublin can produce a 70-minute performance that he believes is more in line with the squad's ability.

"In the first half people would say we put ourselves in a good position. But it was just that 10 or 15-minute period after half-time.

"It obviously just killed us. If we could put that first half together for the 70 minutes, that would be a good reflection of us."

Irish Independent

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