Saturday 10 December 2016

Deise visit has make or break feel for Dunne and Wexford

Published 30/03/2016 | 02:30

Wexford manager Liam Dunne. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Wexford manager Liam Dunne. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Liam Dunne's absence from the Wexford hurlers training on Monday night, six days out from a league quarter-final in which they really must deliver a performance, has caused further ripples of discontent in the county on the back of their most disappointing Division 1B campaign yet.

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Reports locally suggested Dunne had been absent from training since the Tuesday night after the Laois game but the squad did not have any session late last week or over the weekend as they were released back to their clubs for league games.

Dunne has been on an overseas break and, while Wexford County Board officials may not have been aware of his plans, he will return to oversee tonight's session.

After losses to Limerick, Clare and Offaly and a last gasp victory over Laois pressure appears to be mounting on the 1996 All-Ireland winner who has been in charge since late 2011.

Members of the management committee are believed to have concerns over the league form and the direction the team has been going and there has been some speculation that the manager could come under further pressure as early as next week if they are heavily beaten this weekend.

Under Dunne, Wexford enjoyed a progressive first three years rebuilding the senior team and the structures around it, despite some indifferent Division 1B league form.

Just over 12 months ago they went into a fifth round Division 1B match with Waterford as slight favourites in the knowledge that victory would earn them coveted promotion to the top flight.

But the home side could scarcely lay a glove on the Deise and eventually lost by 0-22 to 0-16.

Since then they have gone their separate ways, Waterford winning the league and reaching an All-Ireland semi-final, Wexford losing a league quarter-final and championship qualifier to Cork either side a five-goal thrashing to Kilkenny.

Irish Independent

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