Austin Gleeson says players heeded manager’s half-time directive

Waterford’s match-winner on Sunday Austin Gleeson has endorsed manager Derek McGrath’s half-time directions to the team.

Austin Gleeson says players heeded manager’s half-time directive

McGrath told his charges to stop complaining about refereeing decisions and to resume working hard in their Allianz Hurling League clash with Tipperary, and Gleeson agreed completely.

“Absolutely, Derek was right, in a lot of ways Tipperary were playing the way we wanted to be playing. They were showing us that it’s a battle.

“In the end we were able to turn that around, and we got back into it, but they were five points ahead at one stage, so it was a tough job.

“We knew that they wouldn’t fold, that they’d stay at it, and they did. It was a fair battle and we got over the line at the end.”

Waterford are at home to Dublin on Sunday but Gleeson isn’t sure that having three wins in the bank will encourage management to experiment with selection.

“I suppose Derek and the lads have that bit of freedom now, but the mentality they have, and all of the lads on the squad, is that we want to keep on winning.

“It’s up to Derek, Dan (Shanahan) and Fintan (O’Connor), we’ll see who they want to play next week, but no doubt about it, we’ll want to win the game and to keep the run we have going.”

Players like Tom Devine, who came off the bench to score a goal, will be eager to start this weekend.

“It was a great goal, Tom looked like he was gliding as he was going through,” said Gleeson.

“He’s a big man and is very hard to stop once he gets going, as everybody could see., and once he was near goal he had only one thing on his mind. But the other subs chipped in as well. Tommy Ryan did well when he came on and Shane O’Sullivan’s a very experienced player as well. The two of them fought like dogs as soon as they were in.

“We have a good panel this year and it’s phenomenal, the fighting for places. You still have the likes of Stephen Bennett, Padraic (Mahony), Tadhg (de Burca) to come into the mix, and Maurice (Shanahan) was suspended on Sunday.

“That gives you an idea of the strength of the panel, and as a player you know well that nobody’s safe or sure of their place. If you have a jersey you have to keep working hard to keep it.”

Gleeson was playing down the significance of the monster free he landed to win the game late on: “I didn’t really know if I’d get it - I’d already had two or three of them, and I went short with a couple of those, though in fairness Paddy (Curran) got one of them over the bar. I looked up at the clock for the last one and there was only 28 seconds or so left, so I said there was no time to play around with it.

“So I hit and hoped - thankfully I caught it well.”

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