Limerick's Kiely won’t be leaning on home comforts

That home comforts didn’t translate into points in either of last weekend’s Munster SHC games came as little surprise to Limerick manager John Kiely.

Such is the minuscule gap which separates the five teams in the province that Kiely views so-called home advantage as not being too much of an advantage at all.

Both Clare and Tipperary secured victories on the road last Sunday, double the number of away wins which played out during the 2018 edition of the Munster Championship, when Clare edging out Tipperary at Thurles was the sole occasion a county took two points from their travels.

“I actually felt last year that it was extraordinary so few games were won away from home,” remarked All-Ireland winning boss Kiely.

“I thought it was an inordinately small number of games. I always felt there was going to be a few more away victories this year. Already, we have seen that. I am sure it won’t be the end of it either.”

Having fallen rather meekly first time out, John Meyler’s charges must add to that small stack of away wins if they’re to stand a reasonable chance of winding up in the top three come mid-June.

Cork have already paid visit to the Gaelic Grounds in 2019, their 2-21 to 1-21 league win in late February representing Limerick’s sole defeat since June 17 of last year.

“Our performance levels on the day were low and, overall, we were poor,” said Kiely of their league reverse to Cork, a game where the winners had moved nine clear as early as the 26th minute.

“We allowed Cork too much time on the ball and when you allow Cork teams too much time on the ball, they are going to do a lot of damage. Obviously, that is something we are going to have to work really, really hard on Sunday.

“We are going to have to make sure we are really busy around the field.

“If we don’t put in the hard shift, we are going nowhere.

“The foundation stone of any performance is hard work and we didn’t work hard enough against Cork in the league. We need to make sure we get that right on Sunday.”

With Cork’s summer, to an extent, hinging on this fixture, Kiely would not be drawn on whether the Rebels were a more dangerous opponent now that they are fighting to save their season.

“Anytime you play Cork, they are more than able to have their purple patch and really do a lot of damage during that time. Last Sunday, they got their purple patch in the first-half and got a really substantial score out of it at that stage.

For us, it is not so much about Cork, even though the narrative this week is about Cork. For us, it is about ourselves and getting our own performance right, getting our approach right, and making sure we hit the targets we want to hit for ourselves.

“It is our first game of the championship, our first home game, and we want to make sure we put in a really strong performance. Obviously, you want to get off to a good start as we have some really, really challenging fixtures ahead.”

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