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Egan: “We need to work on shape and structure”


WEXFORD MANAGER Darragh Egan said he was pleased with his side’s performance in their Walsh Cup Senior hurling draw with Kilkenny in Chadwicks Wexford Park on Saturday, but warned that his players must learn to transition during the course of a game.

We need to work on our shape and structure. When that goes, like it did today, when Kilkenny got on top, we seem to be under a lot of pressure.

“While we played 15 on 15, no sweeper, we still must learn to transition in a game, learn when we have to change at different times, as the same pattern will not prevail through 70 minutes.

“We have a bit of stuff to tidy up on the training field but we showed great character to get a draw in the end.

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“Ultimately we are delighted to get to the final and get another game under our belts before the league campaign begins,” he said.

“Dublin have looked impressive and very determined. It will provide us with another huge game.

“Look, we have the league and All-Ireland champions coming to Wexford for our first league outing, so Dublin will provide the ideal preparation.

“It’s still January. Conditions for this time of year were excellent and today we’re happy we got the two scores at the end to advance to the final.

“We knew that the competition was run on a league basis so we were confident in the knowledge that a draw would get us into the final even though we weren’t panicking in getting those final scores.”

Egan has ruled Lee Chin out of the Dublin game, while Shaun Murphy also looks set to sit out Saturday’s final. There are also doubts around Rory O’Connor, but Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Liam Óg McGovern, Damien Reck and Shane Reck will be available.

“Lee Chin is still receiving treatment for a hamstring strain which rules him out of the game, while it will depend on training over the coming two weeks should he be available for the Limerick game. Shaun Murphy is progressing from his injury.

“Both Dee O’Keeffe and Liam Óg McGovern were unavailable for the Kilkenny game (Dee’s brother, Páraic, was married on Saturday), while the Reck brothers are now back from club commitments.

“I was quite pleased with the displays of many of the newcomers. Conor (Devitt) was solid at corner-back, Conall Flood was excellent, Oisín Foley and the two corner-forwards also impressed, while Paudie Foley is coming back to his best with another fine display. Cathal Dunbar also did very well after coming on, scoring an excellent goal.

“Rory (O’Connor) received an injury in the Fitzgibbon Cup during the week which forced him to retire, while also missing today’s game. There are more college games during the week so we will have to monitor the players before deciding on a team for the final.

One player who will not be figuring in Egan’s plans for the foreseeable future is HWH-Bunclody clubman Aidan Nolan.

“Aidan is not part of the squad at the moment,” Egan said. “We will be monitoring the situation but as of now he is not with us.”

Egan also said that over the next week to ten days they will have to decide on a squad for the National League.

“We will have to reduce our squad to 32 players. This will be done shortly after the Walsh Cup final, when we will continue preparations for Limerick.

“What we have at the moment is competition for places which is ideal.

“Many players have put their hand up, so hopefully we will see more of the same on Saturday evening.”