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“We let the Tipperary public down today” — Liam Cahill

Tipperary manager Liam Cahill gives his post-match reaction to the Waterford defeat in the final round of the Munster championship

Tipperary manager Liam Cahill gives his post-match reaction to the Waterford defeat in the final round of the Munster championship.

It was fine margins today, Liam — Tipperary are still alive but only just.
Only just, absolutely. Very fortunate today. Didn’t deserve to get anything from that game. From an early stage, we looked to be a fraction off it and very fortunate to still be in the Championship.

Did the exertions from the Limerick game take its toll?
I don’t think so. I don’t think Limerick showed any exertions today from what I’m led to believe down in Limerick.

That’s not something that we’ll accept. If that comes from any player when I go down to the dressing room or over the course of the week, well then they’re in the wrong place.

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What injury did Gearoid O’Connor puck up that he had to be replaced in the first half?
A twisted ankle. Rolled his ankle so again, that’s unfortunate. We lost Cathal Barrett before the game, Jason Forde from the week before, Jake Morris, they’re all big hits when the thing is coming as fast as it’s coming at us here.

We’ve a big job of work now to get all these fellas back on the field for a preliminary quarter-final against Offaly in three weeks’ time.

Will three weeks be long enough to get some players back from injury?
We’d hope so. We’d hope it’d be enough to get everybody back on the field and I think more so to get our heads around our underperformance today.

We’re really disappointed. That dressing room is really on a low down there. It’s like a major defeat.

The main disappointment is we all felt we let down the Tipperary public today that came here in big numbers.

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That’s something that’s weighing heaviest of all on us at the moment.

Was there any element of complacency going into the Waterford match?
From a management perspective, we were driving this all week. I know how dangerous these Waterford players are.

I know that better than anybody. Those Waterford players don’t use excuses. The narrative around Waterford…… These Waterford players, they don’t use excuses.

The narrative around Waterford the last couple of months was that there’s a bit of emotional baggage with that Waterford team.

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That’s the one thing that disappoints me about the whole thing – emotional baggage. To me, that statement was unfair.

Waterford showed no emotional baggage today only the good team that I know they are and the quality players that I was fortunate enough to be involved with the last three seasons.

Did you know what was happening in Limerick?
We had four in our head, once we kept it to four we had destiny in our own hands at that stage regardless [of what happened in Limerick].

We are always of the mantra that if a goal chance presents itself, you go for it. The decision on the ball is the player’s choice. As I said, very fortunate to be still in the championship. 

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The Waterford puckouts, you gave them up and sat back?
We are disappointed in that regard, as well. We had spoken about it.

We were happy to leave Ronan (Maher) free at the back there to make sure that we weren’t giving away any green flags because we know the speed of this Waterford team, obviously.

We probably didn’t abandon it early enough either to go after the game.

That’s disappointing on our side as a management team, that we didn’t just throw caution to the wind and push up maybe and take our chances.

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Hindsight is great when the door is closed.

Are you confident you’ll be able to pick the lads up in the next three weeks?
These are quality players I have, they are really good players. That’s not them today. All credit to Waterford, they ddn’t allow us to play.

We only showed little snippets of what we are capable of.

There were a couple of occasions there when we looked like the team that has progressed so well through this championship.

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We are happy to be still in the championship.

But again, I can’t stress enough how disappointed we are for the Tipperary public today to witness a lot of basic errors on our behalf and it is something myself, Mikey (Bevans), the management, and the players are really going to have man up and get sorted out before we can say that we are serious All-Ireland contenders. 

How much did the Limerick game take out of the team?
I don’t think it took anything out of us. I don’t think it took anything out of Limerick, from what I am led to believe.

We looked really sharp during the week and again here on Friday night. I don’t know. It is just something that happens, and when it happens, it is very hard to stem.

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Waterford, to be fair, they really asked questions of us. They ran hard, they broke the tackle. Only for a few more shooting errors, they could have been more out.

They had a good few wides. We got rightly bet today, we got an awful hammering to be straight and honest about it.

That is something that we have to try and sort out, it will test me as a manager and it will test our players’ resilience. So a big job of work over the next couple of weeks. 

But the team survived today?
We are still alive. The heart mightn’t be great, but we are still alive. And once we are alive, we have a chance. 

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And what about other Tipperary injuries?
I don’t Barry Heffernan is near realistically coming back, but Craig is making great progress. Extra week won’t do him any harm.

We’ll need to get absolutely everyone back from here on in. Offaly will be dangerous at home, we’ll have to be ready.

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