It’s good to talk: Michael Ryan ends media blackout

Tipperary manager Michael Ryan

Tipperary manager Michael Ryan admits his side “have not found our rhythm” but is confident of turning things around.

Having refused to speak to journalists after Sunday’s Munster SHC defeat to Limerick, Ryan gave an interview to Tipp FM yesterday where he explained the media blackout was pre-planned and not influenced by the result.

The Tipperary hurling manager confirmed he would engage with the media for the remainder of the championship, but felt under no obligation to make it known before the Gaelic Grounds fixture that he wouldn’t be undertaking post-match interviews.

“We make a lot of decisions and we communicate what we think we need to communicate, or should communicate, but that was one of our internal decisions,” he insisted.

The reason why I didn’t speak to the media on Sunday immediately after the match was a decision we had taken prior to the campaign. We took that decision in light of the fact we were facing four Sundays in a row and what we don’t do is factor in that we’re going to lose a match. We’re always very positive about our games but in the aftermath of the match, and after a loss, we should have reviewed that (decision).

Reflecting on the 1-23 to 2-14 defeat to Limerick, Ryan said there was no rhythm to his team’s hurling.

“That is our challenge, that we have not found our rhythm that we would be happy with or comfortable with. We have to turn that back around in the next five days and face our old foes Cork.

“It was a two-point game up until Limerick got the goal and we were into the 68th minute at that stage. They got those extra breaks, but I will absolutely acknowledge they were hurling with a lot more flow.

“Our dressing room was a very disappointed dressing room. When it doesn’t go the way you wanted it to go, it is a challenge and you have to immediately refocus. That is exactly what we are doing.”

Ryan defended management’s decision to hand championship debuts to Brian Hogan, Barry Heffernan, Willie Connors, and Billy McCarthy, while corner-back Alan Flynn made his first championship start having been used as a sub last summer.

It has always been the case that you put debutants on the pitch and it is a bit like parenting, you worry about them and hope they’ll be okay. The lads were playing very well in training and we wanted to give them an opportunity to play.

Asked was it the right call, the manager replied: “It didn’t work. We didn’t get the result we were looking for. We are constantly searching to find new players, to push them into new positions, build their experience and build their ability to go into these new positions. We are happy with how that has turned out. What we haven’t got is a good first result against Limerick. There are three more of these to go before we can be really measured.”

Former Tipp hurler Paddy Stapleton said attempts to send the ball in long were “unnatural” to the players.

Ryan disagreed.

“We have a label of being a long ball team. There is certainly a lot more to our game than that. But we are not showing the best version of ourselves right now. We don’t have a divine right to win every single game and anyone that doesn’t realise that is not living in the real world.”

Managament were encouraged that Seamus Callanan, Brendan Maher, and Patrick Maher saw action and came through with no ill-effects.

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