Cork collected their fifty third Munster title at the expense of Clare on Sunday but for John Meyler it was just another game and another box ticked.
“It’s just another match, it’s finished now and it’s over with, we’re in an All-Ireland semi-final and we need to rectify what went on last year, that’s not acceptable what went on last year against Waterford, we will be emphasising that to the players we’ve won a Munster championship, we’re unbeaten in eight Munster championship matches, we now go to Croke Park in four weeks time and we need to up it again, I’ve no doubt we will and there’s incredible character in those players out there today,” the Rebels manager said after the game.
He points to the closing minutes of the first half as the moments in which Clare lost the game. “Really the game was won in the last five minutes of the first half when we went eight points down and then got it back to four, to go in four points down at half-time was critical, we had a few words to say at half-time but in fairness to Donal and to Fraggy we got the composure back, our workrate wasn’t good in the first half, we were sloppy, we were a yard behind players so all we needed to do was to get that composure back in and in fairness the two lads did that at half-time”.
In the opening game of the Munster championship, Cork defeated Clare but this received no mention inside their camp according to John who revealed that his son, David a defender with the Irish soccer team has helped with aspects of how he deals with the players. “My son David he’s really focused on forgetting about what’s gone on, forget about six weeks ago against Clare it has nothing to do with the game, it’s a new game in Thurles. Tony Kelly was centre forward today, he was midfield the last day things change and it’s just another match we’ve won, we’ve won a Munster title and we’re now four weeks out from an All-Ireland semi-final and we look forward to that”.
He added, “The GAA is over the top in thinking about the game that’s gone ahead instead of focusing on the game we need to focus on why we were sloppy for twenty five thirty minutes, Conlon cleaned us early on and in fairness to Spillane he went in and negatised him, we got those match-ups right I think but some of the point taking in the second half was incredible”.
They are now one game away from the All-Ireland final and Meyler is adamant they need to make amends from last year. “The focus is now on Croke Park in four weeks time, the focus is now on getting it right this time, we need to get it right, we didn’t get it right last year, with ten or twelve minutes to go last year we were two points up then we’d the sending off and the whole thing opened up. I’ll drive that into the players in the next few days and we’ll give them a few days to recover, refresh and renew to get back for training in a couple of weeks time”.
*Photograph: Martin Connolly