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'That wasn’t a loss, that was a hammering. It’s just unacceptable.'

After the hammering at the hands of Roscommon, can Cork bounce back against Dublin?

Cork must try to pick themselves up against Dublin on Saturday night.
Cork must try to pick themselves up against Dublin on Saturday night.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CORK FOOTBALL CAPTAIN Paul Kerrigan is keen for his side to bounce back quickly from what he terms an “unacceptable” loss to Roscommon last weekend.

The Rebels face All-Ireland champions Dublin in Croke Park on Saturday night (7pm), coming off the back of an 18-point reversal against the Connacht side.

Cork’s concession of 4-25 is considered to be the most allowed by the county in a senior game.

“It’s not acceptable for a Cork team to lose like that at home and to concede so much,” Kerrigan says.

“It’s all about restoring pride in the jersey now and actions are going to have to speak louder than words at this stage.

“They were quite sharp, to be honest, they looked faster and livelier all over the field.

“We had a few fellas on the bench carrying injuries too, but they’re only all excuses.

“It was only the second time I’ve lost in the league at Páirc Uí Rinn, Kildare in 2013 was the first.

“That wasn’t a loss, that was a hammering. It’s just unacceptable.”

Kerrigan was speaking at the announcement that Cork radio station RedFM are now permitted to report live from all Cork games, beginning with Saturday’s double-header in Croke Park.

JCRedFMLaunch06 Cork captain Paul Kerrigan (left) and Cork selector Eoin O'Neill (right) with Red FM presenters Ruairi O'Hagan and Lisa Lawlor. Source: Jim Coughlan

That the next challenge is against the league and All-Ireland champions only serves to increase the need for a Cork response.

“Obviously, our work is cut out, there’s a distance between them and everybody else,

“Monaghan played very well and still lost. If we perform well, there’s probably no guarantee that we can beat them either, like Monaghan.

“We’ve won up there before, we beat them in Croke Park two years ago so you never know. We beat them at home last year, albeit with a weakened Dublin team.

“First and foremost, we’re going to have to look at ourselves. It’s about pride in ourselves and pride in the jersey.”

One positive from the Roscommon game was the performance of young full-forward Peter Kelleher, who scored two goals and nearly got another. The skipper believes that a concerted effort to step up is required.

Peter Kelleher Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

“He’s a very good young fella, he puts his head down and works hard,” Kerrigan says.

“He’s a bit of a throwback in style really but he gives us options. They couldn’t really handle him actually, every time the ball went in he looked like scoring.

“It was a positive, to be fair, and I thought that Luke Connolly contributed a bit too, in fairness, and Maguire, three young fellas were probably three of our better players.

“That is a positive and I think we need more of those fellas that age pushing us. We obviously need more leadership from the likes of me and my age-group, but those younger fellas are going to have to take it to the next level as well.

“At two ends of the spectrum, we definitely need to step it up. We’re going to have to put a bit of pride into our jersey and ourselves.”

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