Moran warns that 'dangerous' Wexford pose huge threat to Déise
Published 20/07/2016 | 02:30
The wounds from the Munster final drubbing are still healing but the only balm that will suffice for Waterford is a championship win.
They are hot favourites to beat Wexford on Sunday and improve their good record in All-Ireland quarter finals that has seen them win seven and draw one of their ten appearances at this stage.
However, Déise star Kevin Moran reckons it will be a lot closer than the bookmakers would have you believe. The De La Salle powerhouse remembers 2014 when Wexford turned them over in a qualifier. That result couldn't have been classed as a shock either as in the build up to that game, Wexford showed they were hurling well enough to dump the then All-Ireland champions Clare out of the race for Liam MacCarthy.
And earlier this year, there was only a point between the sides when they met in a league quarter-final. Liam Dunne's side have already showed their appetite for turning over a short-priced favourite after beating Cork and Moran expects the Déise to travel to Semple Stadium full of confidence.
"They are on the crest of a wave at the moment and they are a dangerous outfit when they are like that," says Moran.
"We are under no illusions what's ahead of us in terms of the Wexford game. Throughout the team they've a very strong spine.
"It's important for us. It's everything for us really to be honest with you - we have to get everything right.
"We have to stop the threat that they have from the likes of Conor McDonald, Lee Chin, Liam Óg McGovern and these boys, and it's just important that we work hard, get (the Munster final) out of the system and get ourselves right over for an All-Ireland quarter-final and a huge opportunity to get back to Croke Park in an All-Ireland semi-final - that's where you want to be."
Having made the last four in 2015, losing out in to Wexford this weekend would represent a setback for Derek McGrath's side who have lost a pair of Munster finals and a league decider in the last 12 months.
"That's the big challenge ahead of us," Moran admits. "We can't let it define our season. It's a huge bump on the road - there's no point in dressing it up any other way. The U21s had a match to look forward to three days later and I'd love that. Just get it out of their system and luckily enough we don't have to wait another six or nine months for another championship game.
"We're still in the All-Ireland series and the biggest prize is still on offer there. We've only to wait 12 days for the Wexford game and try and put a huge performance in.
And Moran wants his side to show refocus in time to see off Wexford. "There's a lot of young guys in that dressing room and we are all hurting from the match. It's a matter of just forgetting about it and moving on and trying to learn from your mistakes and see can you take a couple more steps forward."