Forceful showings in training might well push Richie Hogan into Brian Cody’s team for Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final, Brian Hogan agrees.
But the former Kilkenny captain does expect the player who turned the Leinster final to be held in reserve again against Waterford.
Speaking on theGAA podcast, Hogan said: “Sentiment wouldn’t play a huge part in Brian’s decision-making, just because Richie has been a great player.
“But they’ve probably had two good solid training sessions where they’ve hopped off each other. It’s quite possible he’ll look at starting him, but I’d be surprised. Going on the previous couple of years, 70 minutes is probably not in his legs.
"So I’d be surprised if he didn’t use him coming in with 20 or 25 minutes to go.”
Hogan believes Clare’s Aron Shanagher, who scored two goals in last weekend’s All-Ireland quarter-final, exposed some flaws in the Waterford defence that Cody will look to exploit.
“He’ll have looked at the match last weekend and I think he’ll have some plan to target that full-back line, insofar as putting TJ (Reid) in there and trying to come up with some plan to move Tadhg de Búrca.
“I won’t say there’s a weakness but Clare showed there’s an opportunity there with high balls in. Particularly with TJ, you only need one or two. They know if they get an early goal or two, it puts the seeds of doubt in Waterford’s minds, big time. They’re chasing the game then.
"Then it means de Búrca has to push up a bit and that plays into Kilkenny’s hands.”
Hogan, who played in seven of Cody’s 11 All-Ireland wins, also described the legendary manager’s approach to a big game.
“Most of his talking is done on the Friday night. After the training session the board is there, he names the team. He goes through it line by line, what he’s looking for. And then pretty much the players take it over on the day of the match. He has his lieutenants, there will be four or five guys.
“But he’ll go round to every player individually, as they are togging out. What he’s very good at is making you feel like you’re invincible. He’ll go round and because of the persona he carries, all it is is a look and a hand on the shoulder, telling you, ‘just go take it over’.
“And he’s staring at you, staring through you, and you’re just going ‘I will, Brian, I will.’
“One match I always remember, where he actually took the thing by the reins at half-time and told everyone to ‘sit down and shut up, I’m talking’.
“It was Limerick in Thurles in the All-Ireland quarter-final (2012). I was injured up in the stand and I knew at half-time we were in serious bother. (Henry) Shefflin got a goal to get us back into it.
“We went in, one of the players tried to grab it by the reins, which is what Brian likes to see, but I think he knew himself he needed to take control. That was one of the few occasions I remember.”