O'Grady: Limerick's issues are 'mental'
LIMERICK hurler Donal O'Grady yesterday dismissed ex-selector Ciaran Carey's claims that the Treatymen lack fitness and insisted their problem is mental, rather than physical.
Carey made his comments in the wake of his decision to step down from John Allen's back-room team after Limerick coughed up an eight-point lead in the Division 1B final against Clare.
They also lost a winning position in last Sunday's Munster SHC clash with Tipperary, but O'Grady believes Limerick have long had a problem in closing games out.
"I would definitely say it is a mental thing with Limerick -- maybe not having that bit of belief," said O'Grady, who deputised at centre-back for Limerick last weekend.
"We match anyone for 50 or 60 minutes but getting over the line has been a bit of a mental block. Looking back in Munster over the last 10 years, we have lost more games by a point than most teams. That's something I'd be more concerned about than the fitness side."
Tipp outscored Limerick by 1-11 to 0-3 in the final quarter, but that was down to the quality of the Premier replacements, according to O'Grady.
"No matter what anyone says, and I'll stand up for Limerick, we train harder than any other county," he said. "The Clare game the first day we were way off the mark. We were as fit as Tipp -- on the day I just thought they had stronger players coming in.
"They had three All Stars coming off the bench and in 20 degree heat it isn't easy.
"I know the last 10 minutes didn't pan out and maybe some people might still question fitness but I don't think it was. They had a stronger bench than us and they really had a few good players to come in a change the game."
O'Grady conceded that they weren't as fit as other teams earlier in the season but that they had always intended peaking for last weekend, when for 55 minutes they looked like they might pull off a shock.
"When Ciaran left, he did state he thought there was an issue with preparation. I don't know, maybe Ciaran thought that but that was never mentioned to any of the players.
"We have a very good physical coach in Joey Gallanagh, who also works with Munster, and he always said he wanted us right for the Tipp game and that was all build-up.
"We really trained hard coming up to it. People look for excuses when you lose."