Fintan O’Connor says Waterford ready to push on despite recent reverses

Waterford crashed out of the Munster senior and U21 championships in the space of four days, yet the 14 Déise players involved in both defeats were keen to reload immediately for Sunday’s All Ireland quarter-final, according to selector Fintan O’Connor.

“There was no major hangover. They were very hurt and down over it but they have put it to the back of their minds.

“They were the first fellas down at training on Friday. They had a very good attitude, a lot of them were tired and we gave some of them a night off because it wasn’t fair on them.

“The vast majority trained and trained fairly well so we are happy with them.”

Their nine game unbeaten sequence terminated against Tipperary but O’Connor believes that they can produce the right response: “You always have to learn when you lose. That’s part and parcel of it. We were on the crest of a wave winning games but there was always things to work on.

“There was a little bit more to work on this week. Any team that loses always reacts to it. In training, they definitely have reacted.”

Shot selection stuck out most when management reviewed the DVD.

“A couple of things that we could have done a little bit differently, maybe just a little bit of experience or composure.

“We snapped at one or two shots that we could have taken more time over and taken it on another couple of yards and get a handy score. When we hit it wide, they went back up and scored.

”There were two point swings, three of them in the second-half, at crucial stages in the match. I don’t think we were a million miles away, having said that Tipp deserved the win.”

Waterford and Dublin meet for only the fourth time in championship hurling on Sunday. While they avoided each other during this year’s league, they arranged two challenge games this season: “Early on in the league everyone was looking at them with a new manager, they were making great strides and they had some big performances against Tipp and Kilkenny.

“ They hit a bit of a speed bump against Cork in Croke Park and they reacted well to that and were unlucky not to get to the league final.

“They are a strong, big, physical team but they can all hurl as well. Liam Rushe and Danny Sutcliffe are household names and would be on any inter county team in the country.”

O’Connor says that they will be ready if Ger Cunningham’s side opt for a defensive approach: “I was at the Dublin-Limerick match and they set up with a sweeper. A lot of teams are setting up that way this year. We will be prepared for whatever happens.”


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