Kiely promises response after ‘litany of mistakes’

Limerick manager John Kiely considers their trip to Waterford on Sunday week as a must-win game following yesterday’s setback.

Like Cork did, Kiely will be hoping the All-Ireland champions can consign a seven-point defeat to the past when they arrive in Walsh Park in 13 days’ time and he has absolute faith in the group that they can do so.

“That dressing room is full of guys who are capable of grabbing this thing by the scruff of the neck and there will be a response, I have no doubt in my mind that these players will respond.

“They have worked so hard, they’re so committed, they’re so loyal, they’re phenomenal guys. They know that they’ll have to double down on what they’re doing and they know that there will have to be a response. 

"There’s no hiding place from this thing. It is what it is, we’ve lost our first game. We’re out the next day, we’re going to Walsh Park, we’ve got to get a result. Simple as. 

"We won’t qualify on four points. We’ll need at least five.“

They’re (Waterford) going home and I’m sure they’ll want to show a great deal of pride in their performance at home the next day as well.

"Listen, at the moment, it’s all about ourselves. We’ve got to have a good hard look at ourselves before we look at anybody else because what we did outside there today wasn’t good enough.”

Admitting he didn’t have an answer for the slackness in his team’s second-half performance, Kiely felt there were warning signs in the first half.

“Sometimes when things are off, they’re just off and that’s just the way it is. Today we were off. 

"We were not on the money today and even in the first half there was uncustomary missed pick-ups, missed touches, missed dropped balls, missed pick-ups, poor handpasses … there was a litany of stuff that we would just normally do very well but which we had to work twice as hard to do any way half-right today and we could see that there was a certain degree of finding it difficult to get into our rhythm today."

Kiely gave some credit to his overworked defence - four of his five substitutions were in the attack and the other in midfield.

“Not too many players showed the kind of energy that was required in the second half.

“Cork were very energetic up front and they created lots of space and the backs would have worked extremely hard, particularly the full back line, to maybe curtail as much of the ball that was going in there, but they seemed to get quite a lot of good quality ball to their inside forward line, and that trend had started just before half time, but it continued.”

GAA podcast: Dalo was wrong. Emotional Cork. Limerick's Plan B? Tipp back it up. Ref justice

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