Wednesday 17 January 2018

Sheedy wastes no time starting post-mortem into Tipp's demise

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Tipperary have wasted no time in getting together to conduct the post-mortem into Sunday's 10-point defeat to Cork.

Manager Liam Sheedy has called the players together for talks before training this evening as they try to iron out the difficulties that manifested in their game as they suffered their first Munster Championship defeat in almost three years.

Tipp have at least five weeks until their next Championship match, a qualifier against Carlow, Antrim, Laois or Dublin, but before that they must address the malaise of Pairc Ui Chaoimh as they suffered their worst defeat to a Cork team in almost 70 years.

The main question hanging over Tipperary now appears to be their ability to deal with overwhelming favouritism and expectation.

They were clear favourites to put Cork to the sword for the fourth successive year but were unable to live comfortably with such opinions of them, in much the same way that they were confounded by their billing ahead of the 2008 All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Waterford.

The main concern for Tipperary will again focus on the impact of their half-forward line, which was completely outplayed by John Gardiner, Ronan Curran and Sean Og O hAilpin.

Since taking over two years ago, Sheedy has tried 17 different players in half-forward positions between the League and Championship and is still looking for solutions.

The liberty Tipperary afforded Donal Og Cusack to place his puck-outs with such accuracy will also be a source of reflection for the Tipperary players and management.

Cusack was able to drop five of his first six restarts into the hands of colleagues with a degree of comfort and hit the target at short range with seven of the 19 puck-outs in all that he took.

The criticism from within the county has not been slow to register, with the former county board secretary and current president Tommy Barrett suggesting they were over-trained for the fixture.

"I saw them playing against Clare (in a challenge) and Offaly in the National League. They were nearly beaten against Offaly and won with a free in the last seconds. Against Clare in Semple Stadium last week they won by a point and Clare had only a scratch team," said Barrett.

"The night before we played Clare, they were flying it and I thought that nobody would beat them this year, but then they came out and performed like that. I think they've done too much training.

"We need to get back to basics -- hit it smart and hit it hard. Don't be delaying with it. Players are being cloned in development squads.

"I think we've been thrown back a few years. Our minors, intermediates and seniors are gone, our senior footballers were beaten by 12 points and our senior hurlers by 10 points."

In a TV interview, Sheedy's predecessor Babs Keating said he felt it was too late to make radical changes and suggested that if the current management had chatted to him and his selectors, they might have been able to take some "short-cuts" and continue work on certain players that was already in progress.

"They'd be better positioned today if they had sat down with us for a couple of hours," suggested Keating, who believes that problems he had when he was in charge are still an issue now.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport