'Negative talk' fuelled quick recovery after Rebels loss - Collins
Podge Collins has admitted that Clare had to listen to a lot of "negative" talk after their defeat to Cork the previous weekend and that it was the spur for them to turn things around against Kilkenny on Sunday.
But, echoing the view of his joint-manager Gerry O'Connor, they can't take too much from beating the Cats by a record margin, just as they didn't over-cook their seven-point loss to Cork.
"In the League, I don't think you can take too much from anything. All the week, you're hearing off people how bad we were and how bad we are, and how it's going to be a bad year. It's so negative," said Collins.
"Maybe we performed better against Kilkenny, Aron Shanagher was excellent and our full-back line too and that's a big positive. But I think there are a lot of teams in the country, eight or nine, who on their day can produce anything.
"Tipp are obviously the stand-out team, maybe Waterford as well, Kilkenny of course, but on any given day anything can happen. I'm sure if we played Kilkenny tomorrow, it could be completely different."
The desire to atone from the previous week was strong, and without Tony Kelly, Colm Galvin, Conor Ryan, David McInerney and Conor McGrath, among others, it augurs well for the Banner in the months ahead that they can get to such a level of performance.
"When you've a bad week the week before, you feel like you've nothing to lose," added Collins.
"Not taking anything away from Cork last week but we were particularly poor. Anyone who was down at the game, any Clare fan, you're talking about disappointment with the performance and that develops the hunger.
"It's hard to get that performance every day and even against Kilkenny a lot of things didn't go our way, missed rises and that."
Collins, who has committed to hurling only this year after a season operating in both codes, is excited by what Shanagher can continue to produce in attack.
"He's a great ball-winner, has a great attitude," he said. "He's a professional and since he came onto the panel, he's first out at training and always working on his game, always finding ways to better himself."
Collins is confident that Clare can adapt to playing without the security of a regular sweeper.
"When you've lads like Oisin O'Brien, Cian Dillon and Seadna Morey in your full-back line, I'd never worry," he said. "Even when they get turned, they're quick and well able to get back.
"They're great defenders and I hate being marked by them in training. That's the sign of a good player - when they land on you in training and you think they're a nightmare."