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'We've got to take it on the chin' - Donal Óg on Clare defeat to Waterford

Cusack confident players will respond well as the Banner begin preparation for qualifiers.

Clare coach Donal Óg Cusack.
Clare coach Donal Óg Cusack.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

DONAL ÓG CUSACK has heaped praise on Waterford following their seven-point win against Clare on Sunday but the Banner coach is confident his players will come back stronger for the experience.

With the qualifier route now awaiting Davy Fitzgerald’s charges, Cusack is already looking forward to analysing what went wrong in yesterday’s Munster semi-final.

“The day you get knocked down and beaten by the better team, you have to take it on the chin,” Cusack told Newstalk’s Oisin Langan.

“From what I’ve seen of these lads, I’ve no doubt that’s the course they’re going to take.”

An understandably disappointed Cusack had no complaints after the game, conceding that the better team prevailed at Semple Stadium.

“I wouldn’t like to take anything away from Waterford. It’s a Munster championship game, it’s about who turns up on the day and who performs and who puts the scores on the board.

I wouldn’t want to go down the road of suggesting that our own players played below par. They were the better team on the day.

It was the third time the teams had met in five weeks after their draw in the league final and Clare’s one-point win in the replay. And Cusack refused to point the finger at one particular aspect of his side’s game that led to the reversal of fortunes, although he was disappointed with the concession of a goal to Maurice Shanahan just four minutes in.

“We missed a couple of frees, definitely conceded a goal we wouldn’t be happy with. 

“There’s plenty of food for us, plenty of stuff for us to review on the tapes and we’ll call it as it is.

“They’re an honest bunch of players and they’ll know themselves better than any coach or selector, how they played. We’ll look at it. We’re down but we’re not out.

“Everybody wanted to go into a Munster final. It’s a cherished day and a cherished medal in Irish sport, definitely from a hurling man’s point of view. We’ll just have to take this on the chin, analyse it and take it from there.”

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