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Friday 2 December 2016

Tribe back to 2012 levels for Sunday's final clash

Anthony Cunningham
Anthony Cunningham

IT takes an impressive type of confidence in your team to announce after defeat in the Leinster final, not just to Brian Cody but the entirety of the RTÉ live television audience, that your paths would cross again in the All-Ireland final.

"For us the Leinster championship was over. There was a new competition starting," Anthony Cunningham reasons now, having demonstrated prophecy as amongst his managerial traits.

"There is no point in being here if you don't believe you are good enough to win the All-Ireland. If someone says at the start of the year what's your ambition: for us, it is always the All-Ireland.

"We had gone quite close. There was only three in it in the 62nd minute so for us...that is the same with all those games. They are fine lines."

Relax

"The big thing," he adds, "that is staring you in the face is that you are in Croke Park, you have played the All-Ireland champions.

"If you say we are finished for the year, the wheels would come off. You wouldn't do that.

"The minute the match is over...the minute the semi-final was over, it was immediate preparation for the final. The only time you can relax is after the final."

In 2012, Cunningham's first year, they wiped Kilkenny in the Leinster final but lost the All-Ireland to them in a replay.

Galway didn't necessarily dis-improve. But the disparity in the Kilkenny performance on both days was striking.

"They went about their business; they were beaten," Cunningham recalls.

"They rectified their mistakes. They went very close to going out but improved every single day. That is the big thing for us." he concludes.

"We have to improve upon the Leinster final. That still stands."

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