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Liam Sheedy: 'The healing process for us has to start very quickly and we need to get back on the horse'

The qualifiers beckon for Tipperary.

Tipperary boss Liam Sheedy.
Tipperary boss Liam Sheedy.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE BACKDOOR ROUTE awaits Tipperary just like it did in 2010 and 2019 previously when Liam Sheedy was at the helm.

Both of those campaigns culminated in All-Ireland glory but for now the disappointment was visible today after they crashed out of Munster at the hands of Limerick.

“The best team won. We felt we prepared very well and came here today comprehensively beaten last year and I expected a reaction. They are a fine side but we are really disappointed as we set high standards for ourselves.

“We didn’t really play to that standard today and that is very disappointing for me, the group of players and for the supporters watching at home because when we do put on that jersey we want to represent it well. We came up a good bit short today in how we played.

“I thought the basic errors and unforced errors we made today is so uncustomary for my lads to make that many mistakes. We coughed up possession so easily and we were turned over and when Limerick turn you over in that part of the pitch they are going to pulverise you.

“We were only trying to hang onto them for long periods. Limerick were the better team, overall they outworked us, out muscled us.”

john-mcgrath-ronan-maher-and-alan-flynn-dejected Dejected Tipperary players after the game. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Sheedy pinpointed their style of play as the root of Tipperary’s problems.

“We became one dimensional in the second half and that was the most disappointing aspect of the game was that we ended up raining long ball down where Limerick had loads of bodies back.

“Diarmaid Byrnes was a rock. When you’re pumping ball down, they love to see it high, himself, Declan Hannon and Kyle Hayes back there today, Tom Morrissey, all those guys are very strong in the air. We probably hit the emergency button with the long puck-out all of the time. If you become one dimensional against a team like Limerick you’re going to pay a heavy price.

“We had a better shape to our forwards in the first half where we created space and had a chance of creating some nice scores and left a few after us.”

noel-mcgrath-and-william-odonoghue Noel McGrath and William O'Donoghue in action. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Defensive injury concerns are an issue for Tipperary to contend with after that game.

“Paudie did have his knee (injury), he probably missed three weeks in the build-up which out of the five weeks was a lot. The only real injury worry we have after the game is Barry Heffernan. It looks like a hamstring injury but I haven’t got the full synopsis of it but he definitely would be considered a doubt now for seven days time.

“Seamus Kennedy is out of the brace so he should be straight line running this week but I would say he’s probably still 10 days to two weeks away from significant pitch action. He’s only starting straight line running on Tuesday so he’s a good bit to go but getting there thankfully.”

The lack of match practice was not put forward by Sheedy as an excuse after Tipperary had gone eight months since their last competitive outing.

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“I think ultimately we came up well short today. I mean, we’ve had internal matches, we’ve had enough of trainings. Nothing really prepares you for the cut and thrust of championship so we would have liked to have had a game but no excuses. The fact that we didn’t have a match, I wouldn’t lay any of the blame to that. Ultimately we did not play to our potential.”

So all their focus then is tomorrow morning’s qualifier draw as Tipperary move away from a provincial campaign.

“I’ll bank on these guys, they won’t give it up soft so we’ve to look forward to the healing process now and getting back out on that pitch is our sole aim at this stage. Thankfully there isn’t a trapdoor here, we could be in a football championship where we are gone.

“So we have a bit of soul searching to do for a few days and get ready for what will be a massive game next weekend but we are just happy to have a second bite at the cherry. The only good news is we’ve been the back roads before, so we do know the back roads, it’s a road we have travelled before.

“It’s not going to be an easy road; there are pitfalls everywhere but at least there is some opportunity for the group to get back to the level where we know we can get to. We’ve only got a short space of time to turn it around but, you know what, maybe that’s better. The healing process for us has to start very quickly and we need to get back on the horse very quickly.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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