O'Shea insists 'edgy' Tipp will emerge from worrying league slump
Embattled Tipperary manager Eamon O'Shea accepts that there is an "edgy" feel to his team's play ahead of Sunday's make-or-break Allianz Hurling League fixture against Dublin at Semple Stadium.
The Premier County are relying on a combination of results to avoid being sucked into a relegation playoff. But following a poor recent run, O'Shea has vowed to get it right ahead of the Munster SHC semi-final against Limerick on June 1.
Former Tipp star Declan Fanning insisted last week that there is a certain "nervousness" about the players during the league campaign. And O'Shea agreed with 2010 All-Ireland winner Fanning when he said: "We're a little bit edgy and we're trying very hard at the minute. I think in our play we're a little bit halting and we haven't managed to get any rhythm. But as I said on Sunday, that's my responsibility and that's certainly what I feel."
Speaking to Tipp FM, O'Shea reiterated his weekend disappointment, particularly with "a lot of our regular players" back on board.
"We had a lot of our regular players playing, so it was a big disappointment to lose that game," he said. "I'd have to say that the players and squad are giving everything they have in training.
"I know it's probably difficult to believe, given that we haven't managed to string performances together, but the work has been really good and that's why it's my responsibility to transfer that from the training ground to the pitch."
O'Shea added: "We've played well in snatches – we played well against Kilkenny for a good period of the game and played well for 20-25 minutes against Clare. In Salthill, we won the second half by five points.
"I'm only pointing out this – I'm certainly not making excuses – but I think we're trying hard to get into a position where we will be competitive down the line.
"Next Sunday is a big game for us and everybody's looking forward to it. The atmosphere is really good in the camp in terms of working hard on the training pitch. We're just not getting it on match-day."
And O'Shea insisted: "There are lots of positives around – some players have performed really consistently over the last while. Again, we're actually not that far off in terms of putting all these things together. My strong belief is that this team will get there, but, at the same time, I understand the frustration. We all feel frustration as a team not winning, but we will get there once we find rhythm in our play and our work rate.
"I'd be very optimistic in terms of turning this around because everyone is working hard to do that. It won't be for the want of trying. It doesn't seem like we're getting places at the moment, but we're all trying hard to turn it around."