Thursday 24 October 2019

'We won't use injuries as an excuse' - Shanahan


Waterford All Star Maurice Shanahan. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/SPORTSFILE
Waterford All Star Maurice Shanahan. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/SPORTSFILE

Daragh Small

Former Waterford All Star Maurice Shanahan says injuries won't be used as an excuse as the beaten All-Ireland finalists aim to oust Tipperary this weekend.

Defeat for either side would see their Munster Championship claims effectively ended at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick on Sunday.

Waterford began their campaign with a 2-27 to 2-18 defeat at the hands of Clare at Cusack Park in Ennis last weekend.

Captain Kevin Moran got a straight red card but it was the injuries to the defensive duo Tadhg de Búrca and Barry Coughlan that could cost the team a place in the latter stages of the Championship.

"The injuries didn't help at all, when you look at the guys that went off; Noel Connors, Tadhg de Búrca, Darragh Fives, Barry Coughlan.

"Them guys make any team around. They went off but we can't do anything about it now," said Shanahan.

"It was our first outing and Clare played Cork and lost but they still had a game under their belt. We were in the same situation that Clare were in against Cork.

"We just have to do what they did and hopefully get a win under our belt in Limerick. The other game was a draw so we will look forward to Tipp and hopefully get a win on the board.

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"It's tough be we knew it was always going to be tough, we were always going to pick up injuries along the way. That's why we have a panel.

"It's not just tough on Waterford, it's tough on the five teams in Munster. It's going to be tough to get out of the group but we are going to keep battling and give everything we have."

De Búrca and Coughlan face a number of months on the sidelines while Fives looks set to miss the rest of the provincial campaign. Waterford lost last year's All-Ireland final 0-26 to 2-17 against Galway, and then they were relegated from Division 1A in the NHL this year.

However, the 28-year-old Lismore clubman says the hunger is still there and Waterford can bounce back during the heavy fixture schedule.

"We were biting at the bit to get out and play a Championship match again," said Shanahan.

"We were going well in training but these things happen. It's just how you refocus now and drive on.

"We lost the All-Ireland last year but that's the past and Clare are the past now. We have to drive on against Tipperary who will be looking for the win too.

"I am looking forward to get into this structure. If there was a two-week break in between games it would be great to give lads a chance to recover.

"It doesn't but it does give lads games. We want to play games. Every hurler in Ireland wants to play games and we have plenty of games now."

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