Sport Hurling

Monday 21 August 2017

Fitzgerald unsure over Deise future

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

WATERFORD boss Davy Fitzgerald admitted he had been particularly worried about the threat posed by Tipperary's high cross-field passes and criticised his own half-backs for not tracking back enough in the first half.

"We knew Noel McGrath was going to be centre-forward but if we broke (up) our six (defenders) inside, that meant we were going to be opened up," he said. "He was meant to be picked up by a certain player, but it just didn't happen that way. It's very hard when you're out in the heat of battle and things go against you.

"My two years (at the Waterford helm) are up, I haven't a clue what's going to happen," he replied to queries about his own future.

"It's a massive commitment. You are leaving home everyday at two o'clock and you don't get home until 12 but that's my own doing, I like it that way. The thing I have to reflect on is that I've worked with a great bunch of lads.

"There are some who probably won't be happy that they didn't see enough game-time, but I have a job to do -- to pick the best Waterford team I could. Whether I stay or go, I enjoyed the time I've been there and I can say there haven't been any favourites, I called a spade a spade.

"When I wake up tomorrow, I'll have to ask myself, 'did I do everything possible? Was I as honest as I could possibly be?' And I can say that for sure.

"You might have a few lads that'll go (retire) who've been great servants, but you've a lot of young lads coming again and I think the future is bright for Waterford."

He added: "Have I made mistakes? Yeah, every manager makes them, I've made them but I enjoy this game, I love it and I still want to be involved in it no matter what the story is."

Meanwhile, Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy looked particularly calm afterwards and praised his players' improved decision-making, singling out Lar Corbett's unselfish lay-off to Eoin Kelly for their third goal as a case in point.

"Had we not got that goal it could have been three points at the end, so it just shows how important it is to take right options," he said.

Sheedy played down his own role in starting John O'Brien and putting Noel McGrath at centre-forward.

"It's always a master stroke when it works out, but if you lose it's a disaster stroke," he said. "Look, all you do is you let these guys out and you let them play.

"They're lovely hurlers, lovely stick-men. There's a lot of open space in Croke Park and I thought any time they got into open space they flourished."

Irish Independent

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