Saturday 16 December 2017

Cuthbert: You want to perform and you want to win

THEIR iconic manager might be gone but Donegal retain something of an air of mystique about them.

That nagging sense that on any given day, they might take on some different form.

"At the moment, they're much the same," notes Cork manager, Brian Cuthbert, who takes his team to Croke Park to face Rory Gallagher's in tomorrow League semi-final curtain-raiser (2.0).

"But that's not say when it comes to playing Tyrone in the Championship that they won't be completely different.

"The day we played them in Ballyshannon, the system was very much the same. A lot of players are laying down a lot of markers. (Paddy) McBrearty is playing very well. Right through the League.

"(Odhrán) MacNiallias is playing very well. They're not as reliant on Michael Murphy.

"At the moment, they're playing very much the same. But I wouldn't bet my house that they won't change something."

Three spring crowns in a row between 2010 and 2012 means another this year would hardly represent high achievement for Cork but during a progressive campaign, Cuthbert has constructed something pretty sturdy from the rubble of 2014.

"Going back to last year, there were a lot of players who were very successful in the League and the Championship who retired," he points out.

"So it's a new group now for the last 12 months. I suppose if we got to the League final, it would represent progress. And that's the important thing.

"And you have seven games gone in the League. We'd like to think we learned bits and pieces about ourselves along the way. But it's knock out now," Cuthbert concludes. "You want to perform and you want to win."

ODDS: Cork 8/11 , Donegal 11/8, Draw 15/2. VERDICT: Cork

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