Monday 19 February 2018

'We're going to give Kilkenny one hell of a battle' - Shanahan

Selector Dan Shanahan was delighted with his Waterford side's performance against Wexford. Picture Credit:Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Selector Dan Shanahan was delighted with his Waterford side's performance against Wexford. Picture Credit:Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Having been in similar scenarios during his own playing career, Dan Shanahan knew exactly how Waterford needed to react to their Munster final misery, and they duly delivered.

The Déise's defensive walls came crumbling down against Tipperary two weeks ago but they responded expertly in dispatching Wexford with consummate ease to set up a clash with All-Ireland champions Kilkenny on August 7.

Getting a performance to secure their last four berth and boost confidence was the order of the day, with selector Shanahan delighted to bounce back in fine style.

Read More: 'There was a big chunk of my ear hanging off' - Gleeson

"It was all about getting over the line. We've been criticised in our own county, in local newspapers and that, but we're in the All-Ireland semi-final again for the second year in a row," he said.

"People forget that, we're still in the same boat, we're in an All-Ireland semi-final again. We know its Kilkenny, they're sitting waiting for us in the long grass, but we're looking forward to it."

The former Hurler of the Year outlined how Waterford quickly set any negativity surrounding their Tipp defeat aside by putting all their focus on a Model challenge which they easily swatted away.

"We did the same as we did after the beating to Clare (league final replay) - we parked it. We didn't mention it, we concentrated on the Wexford game," he said.

"I've been in that situation before so I know what I'm talking about, we just said 'We can't go back, we have to go forward. Now we've Wexford to get to where we were last year.'

"We won the battle on the field and on the line as well. It's all about getting over the line, we said that there were three games left to go and we wanted to have a go at it, and now we have two."

After leaking five goals two weeks ago, Waterford dealt with Wexford's aerial assault with the minimum of fuss and Shanahan expects a similar challenge against the Cats with the likes of TJ Reid and Walter Walsh, but he's relishing the task ahead.

"As a young fella, who wouldn't want to play in Croke Park? It's every young fella's dream to play against Kilkenny in Croke Park. You never know. To get a bit of luck and win the game would be nice," he said.

"I wouldn't be involved if I didn't think we could win. Of course Kilkenny are the All-Ireland favourites and the All-Ireland champions, and we'll give them the respect they deserve.

"But we're going to give them one hell of a battle, and Brian Cody knows that too."

Irish Independent

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