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Cork boss McCarthy expects injured trio to return for Tyrone clash next weekend

Killian O’Hanlon, Eoghan McSweeney and Sean Powter could all play some part in the round 2 game.

RONAN MCCARTHY EXPECTS to have three players back from injury for Cork’s Super 8s round 2 clash against Tyrone at Croke Park next weekend.

pjimage (2) Eoghan McSweeney, Killian O'Hanlon and Sean Powter. Source: Inpho

Killian O’Hanlon (concussion), Eoghan McSweeney (groin) and Sean Powter (hamstring) missed out on last night’s 5-18 to 1-17 loss to Dublin, but the trio are in contention to feature against Mickey Harte’s side.

“Obviously there’s a protocol to follow after the head injury and Killian was in trouble Tuesday evening, he just wasn’t right,” said McCarthy.

“So the medical team made the call and it was the correct call. We hope to have him, Sean Powter will be available next week, Eoghan McSweeney will be available to us.

“The key thing is that we get back, get the guys back to Cork for recovery tomorrow and it’s about rest, recovery and obviously a bit of video analysis,” he added.

We did brilliant stuff in the first 15 or 20 minutes and why did we move away from that when it had worked so well for us?

“I think anybody looking at the game can see there’s a fine team developing there but there’s no point in waiting for next year. We have to try and do what we can now.”

Cork made a decent fist of things for an hour before Dublin cut loose with three goals in the final 10 minutes. The Rebels boss was in no mood to bask in any moral victories, however.

“We weren’t coming up to hold out own for 45 or 50 minutes and that’s the danger, that you come away and part yourself on the back and say, ‘Weren’t we great for 50 minutes?’

“What I really liked from the performance was the fact that we conceded a really poor goal before half-time and were six down and the expectancy was that Dublin would pull away. A bit like the Kerry game we didn’t lie down, we came back and won a penalty.

Ronan McCarthy dejected at the final whistle Ronan McCarthy at the final whistle. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“Looking back and trying to be objective about it, they always seemed a bit more in control in the game than we were and that’s something we’re going to just have to learn.”

In their three championship games prior to yesterday, Dublin had conceded just 1-25. They shipped 1-17 against the Rebels whose attack did pack a punch, particularly early on. 

“I felt we were competitive,” continued McCarthy. “I think a fair reflection of the game is: we kept at it, we kept going at them, we kept fighting, we didn’t sit back. But we were always under pressure.

Leave out the last five or six minutes, in general throughout the game they looked the more in control than we were apart from maybe the first 15 minutes where I thought we played some really great stuff.

“We stayed in the game, they went down and scored, it was tit-for-tat. Obviously, we made a couple of very poor decisions near the very end of the game. To be fair to Dublin I think they deserved to win the game, I’m not arguing with that at all but the scoreline is probably a bit unfair to us.

“Every time you give them the ball back, you pay for it at the other end,” he reflected.

“Overall, I thought they were positive, they showed courage. You come away from the game, 22 scores to 17, we had nine different scorers, I think, up front. There’s a lot of positives in it. 

“If I was to be critical of the team, I would say we’re just a small bit naïve still. But the more we play the top teams, the more we learn from it. Look, I think we’re in good shape coming into the match next week.” 

Paul Mannion and James Loughrey Paul Mannion and James Loughrey. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Next Saturday’s opponents Tyrone handed out a 16-beating to Cork when the sides met in the backdoor last season, a result that McCarthy says will have no impact on next weekend’s round 2 encounter.

Realistically, it’s a game the Rebels need to win if they’re to stand a chance of finishing in the top two of the group.

“Last year’s game? I haven’t even thought about it until you mentioned it to me there,” he responded.

“None whatsoever. I think any objective analyst would say that we’re in different shape to what we were last year. And again, it doesn’t make the task any easier.  

“(Tyrone) are  a fine side, they’re a side that wouldn’t make the mistakes that we made tonight. That’s just experience and obviously they’re extremely well managed like Dublin are, but we need to learn and we will learn quickly.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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