Saturday 20 January 2018

Eoin Liston: New Cork manager faces major rebuilding job

Cork manager Brian Cuthbert
Cork manager Brian Cuthbert Newsdesk Newsdesk

Whoever takes over as Cork manager following Brian Cuthbert's decision to walk away has a rebuilding job on their hands.

It will take a couple of years to turn them into All-Ireland contenders again. This team will be psychologically damaged after what's happened to them and the new man will be starting from the ground up.

This side has suffered two heavy defeats to Dublin, one to Kerry and now they add to that last Saturday's qualifier defeat to Kildare, when they conceded 1-21 against a team playing in Division 3 next season.

The strength in depth isn't there and losing seven or eight key players around the time Cuthbert took over was something they weren't able to recover from.

Too many leaders walked out the door at the same time and this left a serious gap that hasn't been filled.

As I said about them before, they're like the girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead. When they're good, they're very good and when they're bad their horrid. They were horrid last weekend.

They hardly got a turnover all night and even though they got men back in defence the intensity simply wasn't there. They were a million miles from the team that should have beaten Kerry in the drawn Munster final less than a month ago.

Cuthbert has come in for some harsh criticism in recent days, though he does deserve credit for the clever game plan which very nearly caught the Kingdom out the first day.

This weekend, I'd love to see Fermanagh putting up a good performance against Dublin. It's difficult to see that happening though and it could get ugly.

I expect Donegal and Galway to be a good game with Donegal proving how much they still want to be part of this Championship and Tyrone should have too much for Sligo in their qualifier.

Irish Independent

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