The disappointment etched on Meyler’s sweated countenance in the aftermath of a game that went right down to the wire said it all.
But, despite the huge disappointment, the Wexford manager delivered an almost heartrending appeal to his county’s followers — “don’t give up on this team at a time when it needs and deserves your support”.
“There is no need for the doom and gloom that seems to be sweeping Wexford hurling these days,” said Meyler.
“This was a very bold and positive display by our fellows and there are so many good things we can take from it. ”
Meyler said little things can, and do, determine the outcome of matches on many days. And, in this instance, he felt it was their failure to convert a second-half penalty that probably decided the outcome.
Waterford were clinging to a two-point lead when the 62nd-minute penalty award was given for a foul on Eoin Quigley. And when veteran goalkeeper Damien Fitzhenry traversed the length of the field to take it, the dogs of the road knew there was but one thing on his mind.
This time, however, his blockbuster effort flew high over the Déise crossbar.
“A goal then and I think we would finally have gone on to claim victory”, said Meyler. “But, alas, it was not to be. Mullane and Kelly chipped in with super points and, while we were still just one point adrift at the end, we were still left to reflect on what might have been”.
He said the defeat, and more particularly the manner of it, is heartbreaking, and when he left the dressing room to do his media interviews he had left behind a group of almost inconsolable players.
“I can understand their disappointment”, he said. “But they can all go back to Wexford holding their heads high because they gave their all in what was a tremendous game of hurling,” Meyler said.
The Slaneyside boss insisted it will take time to get the team playing as management wants it to play, but he is equally adamant that they are getting there. “The amount of doom and gloom in Wexford is unreal at times”, said Meyler, “We have to change that type of culture. If we can take the positives out of today and push on, then, who knows what the future might hold.”
He said that there were several times during the game when he genuinely thought they were about to take the reins of control.
“When we scored those two second-half goals in as many minutes to open up a four-point lead I really thought we had them on the rack”, said Meyler. “That is where we needed the composure, but instead Dan the Man got in for his goal and everything changed”.
If there was any consolation, said Meyler, and he quickly stressed that there is very little, it has to be that there was no repeat of their 20-point hammering by Kilkenny last time out.
“It is now entirely up to ourselves to build on what we have and get back to being serious contenders for top honours’,” he said.
“People will ask me can we do it and today my emphatic answer is that we can”.