Anthony Cunningham: ‘Kilkenny complacent in defeat to Dublin’

Galway hurling manager Anthony Cunningham has stirred the pot ahead of Kilkenny’s visit west on Sunday, accusing Brian Cody’s charges of complacency in their league defeat to Dublin.

Ger Cunningham’s side claimed the spoils at Nowlan Park a fortnight ago — a fixture the All-Ireland champions viewed as a guaranteed two points, Cunningham has alleged.

“What happened to Kilkenny happened to Cork on the first day they played Kilkenny. Kilkenny were up for the Cork match and then they thought they only had to turn up for the Dubs,” he told Galway BayFM.

“There will be a fightback and a kick-back from them on Sunday.

“This game can’t come quick enough for us. Kilkenny are our arch-enemies and this isn’t just a league game for us. It is Kilkenny so we want to win it and get two points on the board. We want to get back to winning ways after the Tipp loss.

“The next week, starting on Sunday, decides our league. We’ll need two wins [Kilkenny this weekend and Cork the following weekend at home] and that will probably put us in place for a quarter-final which is where we want to be.”

Kilkenny have been forced to plan without the Ballyhale Shamrocks contingent this spring, added to the five men who retired over the winter, but Cunningham rubbished the argument they are a depleted force.

“Their half-back line is what is will be there in the championship. Cillian Buckley, Kieran Joyce, Paul Murphy and Jackie Tyrell will be playing every day [in the champion], that is four backs that are there at present. Walter Walsh is there, as is Padraig Walsh. They’ll be playing ever day. Richie Hogan has been in tremendous form up front. To me, they are not depleted.” He added: “It is great there is an experienced referee taking charge. I don’t think anything that is said or commented at Barry Kelly will influence the game.”

Jonjo Farrell will be available to Brian Cody having successfully appealed his red card picked up against Dublin to the Central Hearings Committee.


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