Derek McGrath delight as Waterford back on goal trail

Waterford manager, Derek McGrath, said not getting goals could be a “noose” for players, so he was happy his players scored three yesterday, against Limerick.

“Psychologically, for the lads, it’s good to get a couple of goals. We got 3-21 last year, against Cork, in the championship, 3-23 today. There’s a little more accuracy needed, because it can be a noose around your neck, not getting goals. We were happy to get them today. We worked hard for them.

“We felt they set up with Ronan Lynch sweeping, so the crux, for us, was whether to set up with seven against five — Wexford set up with seven at the back against us, and we struggled with that.

“We worked the ball well, early on, and we varied it, as well. If we see space on the field, we get a message out there, but most teams aren’t leaving huge space anywhere on the field. That’s left to the players themselves.”

McGrath was also happy that Waterford “maintained” the pressure on Limerick.

“Against Galway, in the league, we went three ahead with a few minutes left, but they reeled us in. We haven’t seemed to be able to put teams away consistently, and we did that well today.

“Our attitude has been consistent about the league. We feel our best chance of success in the championship is to do well in the league.

“That’s us out there. There are no secrets, no hidden tactical ploys. We’re here, warts and all, and that’s what we intend to be in the final, though, if we lost that, we’ll have to recover for a championship game in June, against Clare.

“The talk about teams gearing themselves for a championship push — we feel our best chance is to be in a league final and we’ve been very honest about that.”

The Deise boss added that he was hopeful that Maurice Shanahan, who has a hip injury, would be fit for the league final.

Limerick manager, TJ Ryan, acknowledged his side had a long wait, now, to the championship.

“We would have loved to have had another game at this level, but they showed the gap there at the finish. It was 11 points and that was the gap.

“I am not going to look for excuses, but you would have to say that Waterford’s physicality, and on the ball they made a lot less errors than us in the second-half.

“They drove on. For the three goals, I thought we had plenty of bodies around, but we conceded them and we conceded a few scores.

“I thought, at half-time, even though there was a bit of a breeze for them, thought we were going fine. We had wasted possession once or twice. It was difficult for our forwards. Their system, as we know, is difficult to play against.

“But we knew that and we had studied it, and thought we were doing fine. But once they got the goals, it was very difficult.”

The Limerick boss agreed that he would now face criticism: “I’m entitled to plenty of criticism now. I knew that after the last day.

“That second-half performance — you don’t need to be a genius to work out that that wasn’t good enough. Waterford were miles ahead of us in the second-half. They got ahead and had the breeze and their gameplan kicked in.

“It was going to be difficult for us to break it down, but we made a lot of basic errors.”


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