‘We haven’t got a great record against Wexford, so it’s a game we want to win’ – Derek Lyng

Kilkenny manager Derek Lyng wants to see improvements from his side at Wexford Park this weekend. Photo: Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE

Donnchadh Boyle

Kilkenny already have one foot in a Leinster final but manager Derek Lyng insists there’ll be no easing up when they face Wexford on Sunday in the final round of the Leinster SHC round-robin.

The Cats’ win over Dublin on Saturday night and their healthy score difference means their final place is all but confirmed.

But after a patchy performance against the Dubs, Lyng insists there’ll be no easing off against the Slaneysiders, who beat them in Kilkenny last year.

“At times our decision-making wasn’t good,” Lyng said.

“And at times they had an extra player back and to be fair the lads were looking ahead and trying to work it through. At times we overdid it, no doubt about it. And we made life hard on ourselves but there were a lot of positives out there too.

“There were periods when we were moving really well and got some great scores from out the field and it is about improving on that and taking the positives out of it and get ready for next weekend.

“Look, we haven’t had a great record against Wexford, so it’s the game we are looking forward to – a big game with a great atmosphere. It’s one we’ll want to win.”

The Dublin camp will also have one eye on that game. They face Galway in the final round, manager Micheál Donoghue’s native county, and should Kilkenny do them a favour and win in Wexford Park, the Dubs would reach the All-Ireland series regardless of their result.

“That’s out of our control, that’s not a consideration for us,” Donoghue replied when asked about the possibility of Kilkenny winning in Wexford to secure their progression.

“We can’t control anything other than our own game next week and focus on recovery.

“This group are a really young group, the average age is 23 or whatever, and our objective is that every time we played in a huge game or that we play Kilkenny we are really competitive.

“We were competitive and yes, there were periods in the game that it went away from us a small bit but we recognise that and acknowledge that and need to work on that for the next day.”

Kilkenny will sweat on the fitness of Richie Reid, who was forced off late in the game with what looked like an ankle injury. Lyng also reported that veteran attacker Richie Hogan is battling a “niggle” and will be assessed during the week before they travel to face Wexford.