Clare manager Colm Collins says his team have a huge incentive to succeed on Sunday, writes Joe Ó Muircheartaigh.
IN the immediate aftermath of the Kerry game Clare manager Colm Collins didn’t so much as bemoan a great opportunity lost as – it was more a sense of regret about the mistakes that were during the game.
Giving away cheap ball and coughing up possession thanks to poor passing; hitting too many balls into the Kerry goalkeeper’s hands.
A couple of weeks on Collins still defaults to those mistakes that were made, in the hope that they will be eradicated on Sunday as Clare bid to take the next step towards the business end of the All-Ireland championship.
“We have to be totally professional. We approach it in the same professional manner as any other game. We’re going up to their home ground and we’re going to get everything right.
“I have been saying all along that it’s all about improvement,” he says. “We look at what we did wrong against Kerry – those six balls that we dropped short, the times that Kerry kicked and there wasn’t anyone close enough to put them off.
“Hopefully we will be closer to the Carlow kickers, we’ll be putting pressure on their players and we won’t be dropping any ball short – the ball will be killed and we’ll get the ball into the guys in the best positions. We improve all the time – that’s our aim, so we have to go out and do that,” he adds.
Collins knows that the incentive is huge – fellow Munster teams Limerick and Tipperary scored good Qualifier wins at the weekend, now for Clare to join them as they bid to justify favouritism against Carlow.
“We’ve got to make sure that we approach it in the same professional way that we approached the Kerry game, the Waterford game or any other team,” says Collins.
“It’s fantastic to be playing football at this time of the year. They are a brilliant group of players and we have a lot of work done. I’d like to compliment all the people who are involved with the set-up. They stick a microphone in my mouth all the time, but there is a fantastic backroom team involved – all the people.
“Jim Marrinan and Tom Bonfil who look after the kit, the medical people, Paudie (Kissane), Chris (De Looze), Ger (Keane). All the people involved are so professional and good and it’s a pleasure to be involved in this.
“You got to get players in who are of a quality. It’s the people in the clubs that should be taking a bow for sending in the players – Clondegad for four lads they sent us in, Doonbeg take bow for Tubs, Éire Óg for Ciaran Russell, Dean Ryan and Darren O’Neill, Kilmurry for the players they send in. All the clubs who sent players into us at a certain level. Then we got them and moulded them together as a team and they’ve done absolutely everything that has been asked of them.
“Now we have to do our business and get to the last four in our pot. That’s vital for us going forward. We want to get into the last 12 and we are two games away from it,” he added.