Limerick expectation levels justified - Mulcahy
The level of expectation from Limerick supporters across all sports is always palpable and in recent years the hurlers have been feeling it more so than most.
But that is largely due to their success on the field. A Munster title in 2013 ended a 17-year wait but they continue to fall short in the All-Ireland series.
A 16-point drubbing at the hands of Tipperary last month, in many instances would have tempered expectations but Graeme Mulcahy insists that the Limerick fans don't demand too much from their side.
"I think the expectation is realistic. It's definitely merited," Mulcahy stresses. "If you look at the teams around us; Clare, Cork, Tipperary, their supporters demand the same. It shouldn't be any different for us.
"Players know what they sign up for with inter-county hurling so I think it's a case of managing what is expected of you."
The level of expectation may be the same but the intensity in training over the last couple of weeks has certainly been cranked up a notch or two.
A week with their clubs has given the Limerick players a fresh impetus as they attempt to pick the positives out of the Tipp defeat.
"The first week was very hard to take. We knew it was a poor result and you could see lads were pushing hard in training," Mulcahy says.
"Looking back on it, we played in fits and starts and managed to get it back to one point but couldn't kick on. It's about trying to put together a 70-minute performance and getting a run of results.
"We have to take the positive from it. We're fully aware that there are underlying issues but we've addressed them and I think we're in a better position now.
"A defeat like that will always effect you but we have plenty of lads who have been around the block before.
"It always helps to get away with the club, even for a week. It can freshen you up and make you even more eager to get going again," he adds.
A trip to Mullingar provides an altogether different challenge and despite the fact that the bookies have made the Treaty men 1/66 on to win, Mulcahy is adamant that his side won't take Westmeath for granted.
The Lake County is still on a high from the footballers' historic win over Meath last Sunday and they will no doubt look to feed off that this afternoon but Limerick are braced for that challenge, according to Mulcahy.
"It's a completely different scenario. We've never played up there in the championship and we know they'll come at us hard," the forward stresses.
"You can see that they've been steadily improving. They've pushed Galway close before and beat Antrim this year. We know that we are strong favourites but that doesn't mean we'll be taking them for granted.
"The result is key. The important thing is that we get through and get the momentum going again."
Graeme Mulcahy is a brand ambassador for Limerick SEAT dealer Adams of Glin, who have recently announced a unique sales affinity offer whereby any member of a GAA club in Limerick can avail of a €750 discount on any new SEAT model. See www.adamsofglin.ie