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Conor O'Sullivan: Cork can't afford to be sluggish against Clare

Updated: Friday, 27 Sep 2013 13:08 | Comments

Conor O'Sullivan: 'Clare got off to a great start and we'd be hoping we can change that for the next day'
Conor O'Sullivan: 'Clare got off to a great start and we'd be hoping we can change that for the next day'

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Cork defender Conor O’Sullivan admits his team can’t afford another sluggish start against Clare in the All-Ireland hurling final replay.

Although the Rebels only went in two points down at the break in the drawn game, they were always playing catch-up as Clare kept them at bay, leading by five points at one stage.

O’Sullivan told RTÉ Sport: “We were probably under the cosh a small bit, Clare got off to a great start and we’d be hoping we can change that for the next day, maybe take the game to them a bit more early on.

“You just have to put the head down and grind it out, you’ve to work. Every team’s going to have a purple patch so you’re hoping you can fight your way out of it.

“If you look at any of the best teams when they’re down – they just work it out, work it out, work it out.

"It’s just all down to hard work on a day like that when things aren’t going your way and we’ve 30 fellows willing to do whatever it takes."

"It’s just all down to hard work on a day like that when things aren’t going your way" - Conor O'Sullivan

The Sarsfields man added that Banner boss Davy Fitzgerald’s decision not to play with a sweeper, as he had deployed previously, couldn’t be used as an excuse for their performance.

“I suppose everyone was expecting them to play a sweeper but the bottom line is [you must be] prepared to play 15 on 15, that’s what hurling’s about so you have to be ready for that as well. So we can’t use that as an excuse,” he said.

“I wouldn’t take anything away from Clare. They played brilliantly.

"The reason we didn’t play well was because Clare didn’t let us play so well. It wasn’t down to us just not performing.

“People wouldn’t give Clare the credit for that but they were brilliant. Now I’m sure they’ll think they can improve for the next day but we’ll be hoping we can improve for the next day as well.

“There’s no point in dwelling on the negatives too much. You have to look at it to see where you can improve but if you’re getting bogged down by them you’re doing no-one any good. The lads, the managers are extremely positive; JBM especially.

“So they’ll be telling us what went wrong but they’ll be telling us what went right as well.”

Live television coverage of the All-Ireland Hurling Final Replay between Clare and Cork from 16:00 on Saturday 28 September on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Ireland only). Live radio coverage of all the day’s action from 14:00 on RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ RnaG and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).

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