Friday 19 January 2018

Clare defeat won't change our approach, insists Cody

Walter Walsh and Kilkenny manager Brian Cody at the Leinster championships launch in Rathfarnham's Pearse Museum (SPORTSFILE)
Walter Walsh and Kilkenny manager Brian Cody at the Leinster championships launch in Rathfarnham's Pearse Museum (SPORTSFILE)
Ger Loughnane (INM)
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kilkenny are not about to rip up the script and revert to the drawing board over the heaviest score they have conceded on Brian Cody's managerial watch.

The game's most successful manager insisted yesterday that the 4-22 they shipped against Clare in the League semi-final just over two weeks ago won't alter their thinking.

"The fact that it went a particular way is not going to change dramatically what we're going to be thinking about," he said at yesterday's Leinster Senior Hurling Championship launch.

"The hand (they have) is fairly obvious at the same time. We just take it on, it won't be anything magnificent or anything drastically different I would think.

"And the same with everybody else, every management team wants to try and get the maximum ability from the players they have and we are no different, we will try and do the very same thing and we'll see where it brings us."

Cody confirmed that Michael Rice and Brian Kennedy had left the panel but stressed that it was open-ended as he praised Rice's contribution over the years.

"He had a terrific career I suppose in the sense that injury robbed him of further opportunities. He had a really tough time with injuries, serious injuries.

"He gave so much on the field for so long for Kilkenny, and the last few years have been a really tough time for him," he said.

"His game-time has been very limited, even from a club point of view. The opportunity was there to see if he could try and get himself up to that level again and he gave himself every chance.

"But injuries are the one thing that makes it kind of difficult for a player. His (Carrickshock) clubmate Richie Power suffered the same fate and that's the reality of it."

Cody said he found Sunday's drawn League final between Waterford and Clare "tactical" and "interesting".

"I suppose they cancel each other out to a large degree and there was a lot of traffic in the middle area of the field," he said. "But look, that's the way the game went and next Sunday will be interesting."

He laughed off comments from former Clare manager Ger Loughnane that it was an indictment on the rest that the Cats were going for three-in-a-row, describing the current champions as a "functional" team.

"Ger is a very enjoyable fella and he's a gas man really. We'll have a chat about it sometime, maybe; he'll tell me exactly how he thinks. But I wouldn't think he ever tells anyone what he really thinks anyway.

"I don't know what he means by it. And again, if we were to concern ourselves with what all the various people say about us, you'd be working overtime trying to figure out why did he say this or who does he think he is?

"I enjoy Ger, and I know Ger a long time. And he'll say whatever. He might just throw anything out there just for the sake of throwing it out. Also, he maybe believes what he says.

"It's a good starting point for any team to be functional, I'd say. And if you ever lose that attribute, you'll become dysfunctional very, very quickly."

Despite Colin Fennelly hitting out at the remarks, Cody says Loughnane's comments are not an issue in the Kilkenny dressing-room.

"If a player is going up and he's being asked a question, without even putting any kind of thought into it, you'll give an answer to it," he said.

"I've never heard mentioned by any of our players, or by anybody in Kilkenny at all, around our dressing-room. At all."


Cody said he is uncertain about what the immediate future is for Michael Fennelly, who continues to suffer from recurring back trouble.

"Michael played about 20 minutes against Offaly and had a slight setback again after that. So it's a long, tough haul for Michael," he said.

"The medical team will decide when he comes back really. He's been put under absolutely no pressure at all. And he's in decent shape physically. He's had very limited hurling preparation apart from just non-contact stuff.

"But again, he's a player who understands his own body very, very well. He's working away. Who knows? We're not waiting to see what will happen. We just can't afford to do that."

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