Monday 19 August 2019

Lack of belief cost Rebels a semi-final spot - Corcoran

Cork's Patrick Horgan. Photo: Sportsfile
Cork's Patrick Horgan. Photo: Sportsfile

Cathal Dennehy

Brian Corcorcan believes Cork missed out on a place in the All-Ireland hurling semi-final due to a lack of confidence during the second half of Sunday's defeat to Kilkenny.

"You have to believe you can do it, and at times when Kilkenny pulled ahead it looked like Cork had lost momentum and you were relying on some of the old heads, the Cadogans and (Patrick Horgan) to pull them out," said Corcoran.

"It's important to get back to the mindset of believing you can win - Kilkenny have always had that."

Cork led by two points at the interval but the Cats outscored them 1-8 to 0-1 at the start of the second half, leaving many to question whether players had frozen on the big stage.

"I don't think it's Croke Park," said Corcoran, a three-time All-Ireland winner with the Cork hurlers.

"It's more we're at the latter stages and now it's knockout, do-or-die stuff. The team I played with - the likes of Dónal Óg (Cusack), Seán Óg (Ó hAilpín), Joe Deane - they were used to winning and they had the mindset of winning because they had won minor, U-21s, so there was a belief there. But you wonder, the guys that are there now, do they actually believe it?"

Tribute

Corcoran paid tribute to forward Horgan, who scored 3-10 on Sunday, but said the Rebels won't be able to rely so much on the 31-year-old in the future.

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"The bottom line is they were too dependent on Patrick. Everybody was talking about (his) performance, but if that wasn't there they would have been well beaten.

"You can say, 'was it a lapse of concentration in the first 15 minutes of the second half?'. I have heard people say it was a lack of leadership, but it is hard to put your finger on it. I think it is just a lack of belief in terms of whether they can actually win it."

He believes more work is needed at underage level to develop players physically for the modern game.

"They have moved into the academy process with Rebel Óg to develop players, but there is a lot of competition across other sports. Cork need to start delivering at underage. The academy structure was lacking in Cork for quite a while. Now that it's in place, hopefully it will start to bear fruit over time."

Asked about the Cork footballers' loss to Dublin, the former dual star took little solace from how long they kept in touch with the champions.

"At the end of the day, they were well beaten," he said. "I wouldn't be delighted with the result but to look at positives, for 55 minutes there was a belief there and at least a pattern of play coming back, as opposed to the negativity that was there going back a couple of months. But are you happy with a 13-point loss? Absolutely not."

Irish Independent

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