Saturday 20 January 2018

Maher: We can bounce back from 'disruption'

Tipperary Pádraic Maher was in Croke Park yesterday as the GAA and GPA announced a new partnership with Pat the Baker to promote their new Protein Bread. Photo: Sportsfile
Tipperary Pádraic Maher was in Croke Park yesterday as the GAA and GPA announced a new partnership with Pat the Baker to promote their new Protein Bread. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Pádraic Maher insists rumours of unrest and in-fighting in the Tipperary dressing-room have become a "skit and a laugh" amongst the players.

Addressing what he branded as a "disruptive few weeks" that saw All-Star defender Cathal Barrett cut from the squad for disciplinary reasons, as well as a series of rumours regarding players' personal lives that were in circulation following their Munster SHC defeat to Cork, Maher was adamant that his side won't be "wasting energy on ridiculous stuff" as they look to get the defence of Liam MacCarthy back on track.

"Look, I suppose it's been a disruptive few weeks at home, with Cathal being released from the panel and all the 'talk' as they call it.

"Yeah, it's been disruptive enough but we've got back training now thank God and we are looking ahead to the All-Ireland series.

"I suppose it (the rumours) affected some players. When it's that ridiculous and people are going that personal into people's lives, it's tough for lads.

"But the way it's gone now, as players we are just using it in the dressing-room as a bit of a skit and a laugh because that's how bad it's gone.

"That's all you can do. You can't do anything else about it, just laugh it off and move forward. We are not going to be wasting energy on ridiculous stuff or stuff that's not real or hasn't happened.

"We are just looking forward again and hopefully it makes us tighter as a group. At this stage we are looking forward to July 1 now," Maher said, at the launch of a new GAA/GPA partnership with Pat the Baker who have launched a new protein bread.

Tipperary seemed to be focused on the job at hand when dishing out a 30-point hammering to Offaly in a challenge game on Tuesday night with Seamus Callanan firing four of their eight goals in Dr Morris Park, Thurles.

And Maher believes they are on the right road.

"People seem to think there is always an excuse as to why we lose a match. It's never the fact that Cork were better than us on the day. It's a bit strange and it's unfortunate," he said.

"We'd rather be playing Waterford now in a Munster semi-final but that's not the way it will be.

"We have a big three or four weeks ahead of us now. If anything, this has brought the group closer together."

Positives

And having won the All-Ireland through the back door in 2010, the Limerick-based Garda reckons there are some positives from going through the qualifiers.

"It does have its pros," he said. "We might gain a bit of momentum but you are definitely looking at one if not two hard qualifier games.

"It is a tough route but if you can get through the qualifier games you are coming into a quarter-final against a team that has been beaten in a provincial final, so your tail could be up and they could be down.

"You can get momentum from this way but preferably you'd go the other way, but we have to play with the cards we've been dealt."

Irish Independent

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