John Kiely insists Limerick’s standards are not dropping and has put down the recent closest shaves to opponents upping theirs.
In their last three games, the All-Ireland champions have been held, brought to extra-time and won by three points but after this narrow All-Ireland semi-final win over Galway the Limerick manager claims they are answering what is being asked of them.
“I’m going to be brutally honest with you, every day we go out the kitchen sink is fired at us and whatever is left over is fired at us as well and we have had to stand up and take whatever has been fired at us all season long and that’s just the way it is and I don’t see it going to change.
“But I know that every day our boys have stood up and withstood everything that was fired at them. They showed great resilience, determination, composure, calmness and an ability to see out the game so I’m worried about nothing.”
Kiely bemoaned Limerick’s pass completion numbers and losing the ball in possession but spoke of the group’s collective belief in compensating for those errors.
“The character was incredible but listen we know that, we trust our group. There is an incredible unity and togetherness within our group and that’s never, ever been a doubt, never been a doubt.
“The only thing that I would ever hate to do is lose a game without producing that on the pitch, that unity, togetherness and resilience that we pride ourselves on. That would be something I would not like to see happening but listen I know these guys every day they always deliver that. We will hit wides, we will misplace passes, we’ll miss a few chances here and there, we’ll concede scores but ultimately at the end of the day we know if we keep at it we’ll give ourselves a chance.” Three-point substitute hero David Reidy was praised by Kiely.
“He’s exceptionally consistent in what he does coming off the bench for us, it’s something we value highly in the group. There’s a huge amount of acknowledgement and significance given to that in the group, and that’s why fellas are aware of how important it is to the group as a whole, and why they’re happy to play that part for us. Long may that last.”
He also spoke of Cian Lynch and Peter getting some minutes in the second half.
“It was great to get them back on the field, yes. It was great to name them on the 26, they’ve worked very, very hard as have others like Barry Murphy, for example, who was very unlucky not to make the matchday 26 as well. He put in a huge shift over the same period of time as Peter.
“They have a chance now (to start in the All-Ireland final), they have a chance, and to be fair, those vital pieces that they gave us today in terms of a couple of possessions, a couple of assists, tackles, all of those bits and pieces were valuable to us in that period of time they were on the field.
“And I have no doubt it’ll do them the power of good for their inner belief that they’re over their injuries themselves. Cian sprinting down the line here, chasing, I don’t know was it Tom Monaghan at one stage.
Kiely didn’t watch Kilkenny’s emphatic victory over Clare on Saturday.
“I didn’t watch it. It was irrelevant to me until we got through today so there was nothing to be gained from watching it. Better off to walk the dog. We’ll watch it tomorrow definitely, and maybe when I get home tonight. But not yesterday, no.”