CORK MANAGER BRIAN CUTHBERT has stressed the need for the importance of a strong refereeing display in Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-final against a ‘streetwise’ Mayo side.
The Rebels go into the last-eight clash against the Connacht champions as underdogs and, while Cuthbert has belief that his side can win, he feels that authority from the man in the middle – who has yet to be announced – will be key.
“Absolutely, I think the referee’s going to be very important in this game,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to paint our fellas as naive young fellas, but certainly they’re up against a team that’s extremely streetwise — every manager wants their team to be like that.
They’re a very streetwise team, they’ve been around the block and they know how to play the game. I think they’re very sure of how they want to play and they’re a difficult team to play against, to be honest.”
“This year teams have caused them problems and I’d be hopeful that if we can get enough ball we can cause them some problems as well.”
While midfielder Andrew O’Sullivan has left the Cork panel — ‘his call’, in Cuthbert’s words — the manager is in the pleasing position of having effectively a full squad to choose from.
“We’re fine [regarding injuries],” he said, “we have a very good medical team, very good strength and conditioning coach, we’ve gone through the season largely, with everybody.
“Donncha [O'Connor] had a hamstring injury last week, he was going very well but he picked up an injury last Sunday week. We hope he’ll be fine this week. Apart from that there’s only Kevin Crowley, who has a serious injury and who’s out of bounds.”