Wednesday 16 October 2019

Former boss Ryan urges 'caution' from Tipp fans

Michael Ryan. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Michael Ryan. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Former Tipperary hurling manager Michael Ryan has urged the county's supporters not to lose the run of themselves after wins in their opening two Munster SHC games while playing 'total hurling'.

After three years as manager, Ryan finished up with the Premier County following last season's championship, but he admits he has been hugely impressed by how the side have improved under Liam Sheedy's stewardship.

According to Ryan, the Tipperary forwards were "borderline impossible to mark" in their win over Waterford at the weekend, and that the county is in a great place with two games still to play in the provincial round robin competition.

"It was a really, really total hurling performance from Tipp. Like a lot of other Tipp fans, I was very conscious of this game. I was a bit afraid of what Waterford might bring, but I think the quality of our [Tipperary's] hurling, we got into a groove almost immediately.

"The quality of the hurling was of a really high order. The movement of the forwards, they were borderline impossible to mark. It was all positive."

Tipperary still have to go to Ennis to face Clare, before they host All-Ireland champions Limerick in the final week of the competition, but with two wins in the bag, Tipp are table leaders and in pole position to reach the Munster final.

A win over Clare next time out will guarantee Tipp a place in the All-Ireland preliminary quarter-final at a minimum, but Ryan has urged fans to give them breathing room.

"In the first two games I think we were in top-class condition to play those games,," Ryan told Tipp FM. "The preparation was absolutely ideal. I think that's credit to Liam and the management team.

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"The last two games is a quality of hurling that we haven't seen from Tipperary in quite a while. It was absolutely brilliant to see it.

"As a Tipp supporter, I would caution, we do not need to lose the run of ourselves. We need to do quite the opposite. The team is progressing exactly as you'd want, but we have two more key games in the round robin series, none of which are easy.

"We don't need any undue pressure on the players. We should enjoy what we're seeing; the boys are hurling out of their skins; we've had two really good performances, but the job isn't done. It's half-done.

"What we really want to do is to ensure we're in the second half of this season competing either for the Munster final or the campaign beyond that.

"There is lots of hurling to be played yet. We're in great place right here, right now, but we'd be foolish to think that the pattern is just going to continue and that it's going to be a straight road."

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