'We need to be looked after. There are Premier League players getting what they're getting' - Dan Shanahan
Published 03/05/2016 | 02:30
Waterford will tweak their playing style for Sunday's Allianz NHL final replay, according to selector Dan Shanahan while former Clare All-Ireland winner Fergie Tuohy feels his county can also benefit from an expansion of their game.
As both sides go back to the drawing board, Shanahan predicted spectators will be treated to a "better" game and a Waterford team more intent on taking the game to Clare. A wide tally of 20 is, he admitted, "a big concern" especially the eight struck from either frees or 65s.
"We're disappointed that we had so many but a lot of them came from play as well to be honest," he reflected.
"Maybe should have carried the ball a bit more rather than shooting from out the field which we've instructed the boys to do, which they didn't do today but which they'll do next week," he predicted.
Shanahan conceded the replay is a game that they could have done without as they "didn't need playing Clare again" with championship fast approaching, but the lure of a trophy is sure to really drive them again.
"I don't get the idea that people think we're shadow-boxing for four or five weeks' time. It's ridiculous talk. You want to win a trophy. There's a new trophy up there and everyone wants to win it.
"We're no different than Clare. They haven't won it since 1978, we want to create history and be the first Waterford team to win it two years in a row. You saw the passion from both sets of benches, both sets of players - when you have that?"
Shanahan conceded it "wasn't probably the best game to watch but it was entertaining.
"These players, every player, I'm not just on about the Waterford lads but every player - should get taken care of better," he argued.
"I know the GPA and GAA are looking into that. I hope they do because there are lads playing Premiership games today and they're getting whatever they're getting. You have that entertainment out there, the fastest game on grass. Words speak for themselves."
Tuohy agreed on the quality issue, especially the opening half. "It wasn't a spectacle to watch by any means. If it was a club game you'd nearly have gone away home at half-time," he suggested.
"As bad as you would be giving out about football, and you'd hear Pat Spillane going off on a rant about it, that was shocking to watch in the first half.
"Yet the consensus was it was pulsating and everyone is looking forward to next week," he figured. "That's when you throw a bit of caution to the wind."
Tuohy believes a looser game actually suits Clare and they proved that in the semi-final win over Kilkenny.
"Clare were down against Limerick by eight or nine points in a league decider a few years ago and when it wasn't working they threw caution to the wind, came back and won," he recalled.
"In the high scoring shoot-outs our chances, I feel, are better, as we have proven in the relegation play off and All-Ireland finals against Cork a few years ago. In the tight games, I don't know so much.
"Waterford played that system better than Clare on Sunday. They created more goal opportunities. When there are more than 20 players playing between the two 45s, if you break the tackle which Waterford did in the second half and in extra-time they were through on goal. Tom Devine was through. Clare never went on a solo run to go down the throat of Waterford any time."
Still, Tuohy feels the "end justifies the means" and, if Clare win a first League title in 38 years, it will be welcomed in the county gratefully. "You do whatever you have to do. They've both only won three League titles. Clare are crying out for a national title."
With Colin Ryan making an impact and Shane O'Donnell getting some game-time under his belt after injury their addition next week can be pivotal, he reckoned.
The Clare player who was ruled out of the drawn NHL Division 1 final because of concussion will be available for Sunday's replay.
Former All-Ireland winning U-21 captain Paul Flanagan picked up a knock in the semi-final against Kilkenny which was subsequently diagnosed as a concussion.
Clare boss Davy Fitzgerald put the welfare of the player first after the medical advice was to sit him out for at least two weeks.
As results of Flanagan's absence, David Fitzgerald dropped from midfield back to defence and Tony Kelly came into the team.
There is growing hope that David McInerney may also be able to play a part as he continues his rehabilitation from a back injury, but John Conlon's race is now to be ready for the third instalment of the pair's 2016 rivalry in the Munster SHC semi-final on June 5.
A full round of club league fixtures went ahead in Clare yesterday without the county players.