Wednesday 23 October 2019

'They have to overcome that bit of embarrassment'- John Mullane calls on Waterford to rediscover their pride

Waterford's Austin Gleeson. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Waterford's Austin Gleeson. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

John Morley

After narrowly losing out to Clare in the first round of the Munster championship, things went from bad to worse for Waterford as their fourteen-men received an eighteen-point hammering at the hands of Tipperary.

Waterford take on Limerick in the next round of the Munster championship and John Mullane believes they must get over the embarrassment at the hands of Liam Sheedy's men if they are going to have a chance of beating the Treaty.

Speaking on The Throw-In,'s GAA podcast in association with Bord Gais Energy, Mullane called on the big names in the Deise dressing room to step up next time out.

"The big leaders in [Waterford's] dressing room need to take this thing by the scruff of the neck. They need to say 'Lads look, we're playing for our personal pride.' They have to overcome that bit of embarrassment. We need a bit more out of some of the top players."

Mullane says the Waterford players must do whatever it takes to get themselves playing with confidence again and he believes the impact of the Waterford crowd could be a crucial cog in the wheel if they are to upset John Kiely's men.

"In two weeks time, Limerick are wounded, Waterford are wounded," he said.

"I just felt for the Clare game they didn't get the crowd behind them enough and if it means fist pumping of the highest orders when you get a free, if it means fist pumping when you get a score, if it means patting a lad on the back, body language, whatever they've got to do in two weeks time to get a performance and to get the Waterford crowd behind them."

Mullane hopes Pauric Fanning's men can get 'pride' back in the Waterford jersey and end their poor record in Munster, by breaking their run of seven defeats on the bounce in the province.

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"In the last seven games, we haven't won a Munster championship game. Now, you have to get back to your bread and butter of winning your Munster championship games and there's no bigger test.

"Imagine beating Limerick in two weeks time, the lift it would give the whole county, the lift it would give this team, the lift it would give the supporters," he said.

Mullane is confident that the Déise can overcome the odds and ambush Limerick at home given the fact that they were on song with Clare, who 'would be looking to go and beat Limerick' if they had the same home advantage afforded to Waterford.

"Against Clare, [Waterford] lost by a point, another five minutes in that game and they could have won that game. Now, if Clare were meeting Limerick in Ennis in two weeks time, Clare would be looking to go and beat Limerick, so there's no reason why this Waterford team, on their home ground, in the confined space of Walsh Park, there's no reason why they can't push on and beat Limerick."

Irish Independent GAA reporter Michael Verney was less optimistic on Waterford's championship hopes, questioning whether the Déise have enough power in attack to kick themselves back into contention.

"They just don't seem to have the class in attack to be honest, they don't have three or four lads who are going to consistently deliver (1-2) or three or four points apiece," said Verney.

"I thought they'd make it out of Munster at the start of the year but I just don't know now," he added.

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