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'When performances are below-par, you open the door' - Tipp boss Ryan lays down gauntlet

Michael Ryan wasn’t happy with his All-Ireland champions on Saturday

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

TIPPERARY MANAGER MICHAEL Ryan made six changes to his starting line-up for last Saturday’s nervy All-Ireland SHC round 1 qualifier victory over Westmeath. 

And there could be more to follow against Dublin on Saturday, as Ryan indicated dissatisfaction with the nature of the weekend’s Semple Stadium display from the All-Ireland champions.

Ryan whipped off Michael Breen and ace forward Seamus Callanan early in the second half and insisted that both calls were tactical, and not injury-related.

“No injury (Callanan), Mikey Breen, no injury,” Ryan said.

“Those performances were below-par, the lads would be the first to admit that you have to hit your own levels and get yourself on the ball. If it’s off, it’s off.”

Michael Ryan and Michael Ryan The two Michael Ryans shake hands after Saturday's game in Thurles. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

After a six-week layoff, Ryan admitted that there was “rustiness” in Tipp’s display, but he was glad to get a game nonetheless.

He said: “For us, albeit we’re not happy with the performance, it’s great to have had a game.

“And that’s the first thing – a six-week break is a very long time.

“Next week, we won’t get the work done, you’re 100 per cent right in that, we’ll still get a quota of work done on Tuesday and Thursday will literally be rest, not very much at any rate.”

And Ryan warned his stars: “There’s still positions up for grabs on this team and we’re absolutely encouraging the competition, as you can see.

“We made changes there early in the second half and it continued right throughout the game.

“We’ve lost Niall O’Meara with an injury, from what I can see, there’s no way he’ll be back for next weekend.

Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

“Now we’re waiting on a diagnosis, so we’ll just see where that goes, but some of the performances were below-par, and when performances are below-par, you open the door to competition. A healthy thing, as far as I’m concerned.”

O’Meara left Semple Stadium on crutches and wearing a protective boot, having sustained an ankle injury that saw him stretchered off in the second half.

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