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Rob Hennelly: Being an 'iota off" will cost Mayo against Cork

Updated: Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 16:57 | Comments

Rob Hennelly and Mayo are seeking a fourth consecutive appearance in an All-Ireland semi-final
Rob Hennelly and Mayo are seeking a fourth consecutive appearance in an All-Ireland semi-final

Mayo goalkeeper Rob Hennelly has warned that if Mayo will be beaten by Cork if they are an "iota off" in their approach in Sunday's All-Ireland football quarter-final.

For the second time in four seasons, James Horan's side will face the Rebels at the last-eight stage. In 2011, the Westerners caused a big surprise when beating the then All-Ireland champions at Croke Park.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Hennelly recalls that game and sees comparisons between then and now as he assesses the opposition that Mayo will face next weekend.

"In 2011 we played Cork. We were a young team coming from nowhere. They won the All-Ireland the year before."

"We were 4/1 outsiders, but we came in with the attitude that we could do anything. Nobody was expecting anything from us, but we beat them well. If Cork have a similar attitude on Sunday and we're not at the races, then we'll be in trouble."

The Rebels got their 2014 campaign back on track with a comfortable win over Sligo last weekend. It was a welcome boost to their morale after the horror show against Kerry in the Munster final.

Hennelly, however, is acutely aware of the potential that exists in Brian Cuthbert's squad.

"With the forwards Cork have, if you undervalue them, then you'll get wiped because they are a team that can do that to you," revealed the Breaffy clubman.

"If we’re an iota off, we’ll be beaten. We’ll prepare for the game as if it were an All-Ireland final."  

Since Mayo's 1-13 to 2-06 win over Cork three seasons ago, the Connacht side have gone on to play seven championship matches at Croke Park. 

For Hennelly and the squad, it is now very much viewed as a second home - a place where Mayo play their best football.

“We’re delighted to be back in Croke Park. We play the majority of our games there and it’s where we play our best football," said Hennelly.

"The pitch really suits us as a squad. We kind of take it for granted now that we’ll end up in Croke Park.

"Everything we do in Connacht is to put ourselves in a position to be in a quarter-final." 

As to what we can expect from 4pm on Sunday next, the Mayo custodian is hoping that his side can realise their potential.

"We're looking forward to giving a solid performance; expressing ourselves and playing good, positive football." 

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