Tipperary manager Liam Kearns claims Kerry pundits have written off the Division 3 side’s chances of upsetting the reigning Munster champions in Sunday week’s provincial final.
Kearns mentioned the Irish Examiner’s Mike Quirke and Darragh Ó Sé of the Irish Times as two columnists who dismissed Tipperary ahead of the July 3 decider in Killarney.
“Well, the reaction I suppose in general, looking at the Kerry pundits, they feel there’s no test for them now before they play Dublin. That’s the general reaction, let’s be honest. They feel that if Cork had come through, they’d get tested at least, even though they’d expect to beat Cork as well, I’m sure.
“That would be their general feeling, that they’re not going to be tested and hopefully the public down there... and I know that’s exactly what the players will be hearing from their supporters, that Cork and Kerry in Killarney is kind of a real good day out for everybody because Cork supporters seem to travel for that occasion when they don’t travel for others and it’s gone now.
“We wouldn’t be popular with the boys who run the pubs down in Killarney anyway! But, at the end of the day, we can’t concern ourselves with what Kerry are thinking and what they’re about and get our own house in order and we’ve to make the most of it for ourselves.”
Kearns believes Quirke and Ó Sé’s true opinions were revealed in their columns last week. “Yeah, they’re blasé enough now. We’ve seen Micheál Quirke writes in the Examiner and I see he said with all due respect to Tipperary Kerry won’t get a test again until they meet Dublin. Darragh Ó Sé, he dismissed us more or less as well. He was having a right go at Cork but he dismissed us in the process as well.
“That’s what’s happening out there now. That’s the general feeling amongst the public, that Tipperary brought off a massive shock. I don’t think it was ever done that one of the minnows beat Cork and Kerry in the same year to win a Munster title.”
The Austin Stacks man also mentioned how Kerry players picked up on the optimism in the Tipperary camp prior to last year’s Munster semi-final, which Kerry won.
Admitting Quirke and Ó Sé’s words may be used as motivation, Kearns said: “All teams will use anything to give themselves an edge, including Kerry.
"I notice the players said after the game last year when Kerry beat Tipperary by six points that Tipperary players were talking themselves up in the papers and they were particularly wary because of that. So the players and the managements take notice of what the opposition’s camp are saying and I think you’ve got to be careful.”
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