'There's been probably too much changing back there' - Eoin Kelly on the 'Achilles heel' that cost Tipperary
Eoin Kelly says Michael Ryan's failure to resolve Tipperary's defensive issues was a contributing factor to their early championship exit.
Tipperary's were dumped out of the championship after a shock defeat to Clare in Thurles, as a late blitz from the Banner brought them a 1-23 to 1-21 victory over last year's All-Ireland semi-finalists.
The result means Tipp's summer is already over after two draws and two losses in the new round-robin Munster championship format.
Former Tipperary hurler Eoin Kelly said Ryan's indecision on his defensive personnel proved costly, and suggested the Premier county boss would also regret bringing an inexperienced side down to Limerick for the opening game.
"From the Tipperary point of view, not sorting out our backs was the Achilles heel as the championship went on," Kelly told The Throw-In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast.
"You cant talk about anything unless the foundation of your team is right, and that's your defence.
"Tipperary were chopping and changing, nearly eleven or twelve guys would have got a start over the four games in the league. You had a new goalkeeper in Brian Hogan, so I think from one to seven of the team that started the league final, there was only maybe one of them started yesterday.
"There's been probably too much changing back there. To come out of the league and the championship and not know who your fullback is, and to be really settled, that's probably a disappointment.
"The Limerick game the five debutants was just too much. It maybe rattled even the established players a bit confidence wise going down to Limerick.
"Micheal Ryan and Tipperary people are disappointed and he'd openly say that, Michael is very honest in what he says in his interviews, so he'd put the hand up."