Clare are determined to maintain focus, declares Cian Dillon

Clare joint-captain Cian Dillon says the Bannermen are determined to avoid the lapses in concentration which have kept neighbours Limerick rooted in Division 1B of the Allianz HL for the past five years.
Clare are determined to maintain focus, declares Cian Dillon

Limerick have failed to emerge from the league’s second tier since suffering relegation from Division 1 in the spring of 2010 and Dillon is wary of how one slip-up in the weeks ahead could see the Clare hurlers stuck in 1B come the end of March.

Davy Fitzgerald’s charges opened their campaign with a 12-point trouncing of Offaly, but Dillon accepts the bar will be raised considerably this weekend when they make for Wexford Park to face a team stung 2-23 to 0-15 by Limerick on Saturday night.

One off-colour afternoon, insists the full-back, will take Clare out of the promotion equation.

“You see Limerick have been here for a few years.

“They are a top team.

“They perform very well in the championship, but they have struggled in 1B because maybe in one game out of five you might not put in 100% and you might get caught,” he remarked.

“We are looking to avoid that if at all possible and perform to our best.

“We have had experience of Division 1B before.

“There is no such thing as an easy game. If you are not tuned in or fully focused, you may find yourself in trouble.

“That is keeping our mindset on performing to 100%.

“Going to Wexford, they are going to be very tough down there. They will be looking to atone for the Limerick defeat.”

Results more so than performances is the priority then? “For this time of year, we need to get the performances as well,” continued Dillon.

“Lads know if they don’t put in the performances, they are going to be under pressure.

“So unless you put in your own individual performance, you may not get the Clare jersey.

“That is what is keeping us going. I think at this time of year, we are all about building confidence, keeping morale going.”

Sunday’s winning start to the league, arriving as it did in the wake of their Munster SHL triumph last month, according to the defender, has put to bed, once and for all, the disappointment of last year.

“It was important to get a win on the board, get two points starting off the campaign.

“We can park 2015 now. When the first competitive game comes around, you are looking to get a win and get plenty of confidence moving forward.

“That is that box ticked off.”

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