Wednesday 17 July 2019

Maguire: 'Moral victories a load of pipe'

Diarmuid Sheehan

Cork football captain Ian Maguire has been around long enough now to know that actions speak a lot louder than words, but the St Finbarrs man wasn't mincing his words in Páirc Uí Chaoimh last Tuesday night when speaking about the challenge ahead in the upcoming Munster Final and his side's displays over the last number of years.

Next weekend Cork will welcome the old foe to the banks of the Lee and Maguire isn't in the mood to settle for a spirited second place and feels that his side are definitely on the up.

"Moral victories are a load of pipe in my own opinion," he declared.

"Since that last Tipperary league game this group of players have turned a corner. Obviously we were playing defensive football at the beginning of the year but that aside as players we were playing absolute rubbish and we just had to own up to it, but I think we really turned a corner that day in Thurles and we have moved on ever since.

"We did have a bad fifteen minutes against Donegal but since then we have been playing some super football and that has happened as a group of players - it hasn't been two or three playing well it has been 26 or 27 fellas that are absolutely hopping taking the field - whether it is a training game, challenge game or championship.

"You could see that when Aidan Browne and Stephen Sherlock came on the last day, making their debuts and they didn't look any different to the players that were taken off and that shows the competition that is there at the moment. All that has been built by good training, good challenge matches and good league matches.

"Last year was incredibly disappointing as a player and we deserved criticism. We got our asses handed to us. They beat us out the gate and then we followed up with Tyrone who also beat us out the gate.

"There is nothing we can do about that now. We can't change the past. That is our attitude now heading into this final. This is a huge opportunity for us. We are looking forward to it.

"This is a big day for Cork football and we are Cork footballers are really looking forward to the big game and performing. We are taking each game on its own. We are not looking at last year. We are looking to perform on the big day. It's not about Ronan or tactics. When we cross the white line we have to perform.

"There is a perception out there when you have poor results about players' attitude and stuff like that. I don't think I have ever played with a better bunch of lads and I would include the Barrs in that.

"There is thirty lads in here and we have been training our butts off. That is the frustrating thing. We stunk it up in the league by playing poorly and everyone went soul searching after those poor results and I know the management were the same.

"We are all working hard. It is about getting that big performance to turn it right and then we will reap the rewards. It is up to us players, it is in our own hands."