Austin Gleeson feels the Waterford players might have been “trying too hard” to make things work after their run of three consecutive defeats.
Last year’s All-Ireland final runners-up ended that streak with a win in Cork on Sunday and while a relegation play-off appears to be on the horizon for them at least their duck has been broken.
Following a meeting after the Kilkenny defeat, players were given a forum to express their views and the 2016 hurler and young hurler of the year recalls one panel member suggesting they were over-exerting themselves trying to pick up two points.
“Yeah, look it’s a weird one because we are going out to win every game we play. It looks like from the outside that we are not giving it our all. We actually are.
“There was a comment passed by one of the lads last week that maybe we were trying too hard, that nothing is coming off for us and everything is just not falling in place for us but we have to stick to the process and get fitter for the summer.
“When the ball is hopping, hopefully we can dictate something during the games. There’s a new championship structure and we don’t know whether we are playing our home games at home or away yet so we are leaving that to the county board and management; we are ploughing away and working hard and we just want to see how it goes.”
Players also wanted to give something back to management, Gleeson admits. “We went back training on Tuesday and we said to each other more so than management that we need to start digging ourselves out of a hole instead of relying on the lads to take us out of it.
“They are putting everything in place for us. It was us not getting the win and doing our jobs. It is good to get the win and looking at the results elsewhere you never know we could be here again in two weeks against the same opposition in the relegation battle.”
As for the criticism that has been sent Waterford’s way after the recent performances, Gleeson says it goes in one ear and out the other. “It’s like a little bubble. We are all living inside. Everyone would say the same thing, that everyone is behind everything we are doing. We had three bad games but you don’t turn into a bad team in three weeks. We’re getting there again. (Against Cork) we worked harder, we looked hungrier, we just have to bring that into next week and see how it goes.”
The same goes for the constant debate about Waterford’s tactics. “We read it but we brush it off if .
“It’s something that we try not to bring in because it could cause upsets and murmurs in the camp but we are all together and we are all giving it our all so no matter what other teams do against us we are going to set our our own stall and dictate the game from the start and see how it goes.”
Listen to the PaperTalk podcast: Cork's Páirc embarrassment, GAA shun gambling, Galway the new Donegal
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved