Fitzgerald: I'm disappointed for the fans, I feel we let them down
Outfought, outplayed, out-thought.
There was much for Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald to ponder after a disappointing nine-point defeat to Kilkenny in front of their home crowd at Innovate Wexford Park and he didn't hide his frustration.
But being outfought felt like it rankled most.
"The biggest problem today was that every 50-50 ball, they won it. They won the hard tussles and the hard balls, hats off to them for that.
"Our intensity wasn't the same today. I know they had a two-week break, we had one but that shouldn't make a difference."
"Our work-rate wasn't good enough, 100 per cent. We got it back to three points in the second half and then we missed an easy free in front of goal, it was like the wind went out of us," he admitted.
"I'm just so disappointed for the Wexford supporters I feel we let them down.
"I don't say that too often but that's how I feel and I said it to the boys inside, they know it themselves. They feel terrible.
"I can promise you there isn't that much between ourselves and Kilkenny.
"That's us flat out, they have a few to come back. I don't know how much more they will improve to the championship. I thought they were as intense as they could be today and that was savage.
"We could have wilted today easily. Kilkenny didn't put us to the sword, they beat us (by) nine points, I think we have to learn a valuable lesson from today. I certainly know how I feel today."
Fitzgerald has also hailed what he sees as a change in Kilkenny's style from the team that dominated the game for so long.
"I'm delighted to see Kilkenny have changed their game, they've changed it completely, they're working the ball way more, they're gone from the game they played from about 2004 to 2012," Fitzgerald added.
For Brian Cody the spectre of relegation which hung over the team after two defeats was never something he worried much about.
"We lost the first two games by three points. Potentially we could have won one or both of those two games. I'm not saying we should have but we were in a position where we might have. Three points is not a big losing deficit by any means. Obviously, we were tipped very strongly to be playing a relegation battle. But our ambition wasn't to do that of course."
His faith in their young players has been justified once more.
"That's why they are there. I've made no secret of the fact that, at all times, I've huge confidence in our panel. And I continue to have."