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Rebel boss plays guessing game

CORK manager Conor Counihan has admitted that opposition sides have altered their setups this year with the intention of blunting his own team's attacking prowess and expects nothing less on Sunday when they clash with the newly defensively hardened Dubs in the All-Ireland semi-final.

The Rebels have yet to truly catch fire up front to the extent that they have in previous years, despite possessing on paper one of the most threatening-attacks and Counihan puts it down to an increased tactical awareness from all teams they have faced this season.

"Teams have watched us and the style of play we were operating, they're setting themselves up to deal with us that way," he said.

"You get 70 minutes on the day to get it right and we haven't played as well or as attractively as last year," admitted Counihan, "but perhaps some teams have set themselves up to stop that in a way."

Counihan paid tribute to Dublin's renaissance this year and described the concession of five goals against Meath in the Leinster championship as merely "a blip".

"I think if you look back at that, three of the goals could be questionable," he added. "They missed opportunities. It was all about coming to form at the right time and they've done that."

Counihan is due to name a team tonight, though it is expected that there will be changes from that side before throw-in due to the persistent doubts over injured duo, Graham Canty and Ciarán Sheehan.

"We just don't know yet with the two lads. They could need the time between now and the weekend to get right. We hope that a clearer picture will emerge closer to the game."