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'I have to throw everything at this now. Too many players failed today for my liking'

A disappointing day to start the championship for Liam Cahill and his Waterford players.

Waterford manager Liam Cahill.
Waterford manager Liam Cahill.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

HIS DEBUT SEASON in charge of Waterford was full of promise and progress but the 2021 summer began with a shock to the system.

Liam Cahill was left reeling by the manner of his side’s performance today. The scoreboard information at the finish was that they were only four points inferior to Clare, 1-22 to 0-21, the narrative of this Munster quarter-final pointed to that gap being far greater.

“We could have been beaten by a lot more to be honest,” admitted the Waterford manager afterwards.

“That was one of the flattest performances of my reign here. Bitterly disappointed. Can’t really put my finger on it, to be honest. Then again to be fair to Clare, I’m not taking away from their performance. They brought what they had to to win Munster Championship hurling, all credit to them.

“But we definitely didn’t bring the energy that we’re accustomed to.”

Jerseys up for grabs then in the Waterford squad before the qualifiers on the weekend of 17-18 July?

“They have to be,” said Cahill.

“I have to throw everything at this now. Too many players failed today for my liking. I’m going to look at it really stringently and rigorously. I have 37 on the squad and they’re all putting in great work. We had 11 guys training earlier this morning that trained really, really hard.

“They must be looking in at that saying, ‘What have I to do to get into the squad?’

“I’ll be rewarding any player that puts their hand up over the next three weeks for a qualifier because at this stage I’ve nothing to lose. I’m going to throw everything at it between now and then.”

Cahill felt Waterford’s shortcomings were evident all over the Semple Stadium pitch this afternoon.

tony-kelly-and-austin-gleeson Tony Kelly and Austin Gleeson after the game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“We came up short in a lot of areas. We found it very hard to win breaking ball in the middle of the field. When we tried to take it on and break the lines a little, we failed. And you know passes didn’t go to hand.

“There was movement on our puck-outs, but when you’re looking in at a flat team, it’s very hard to try and make the positional changes to correct these things. We tried desperately to get energy on the field. We probably did there finishing up near the end and credit to the subs that came on. (A) bitterly disappointing day for me and the players.”

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Despite the uphill task they faced, Waterford made a decent job of chipping away at Clare’s lead to outscore them 0-9 to 0-4 in the final quarter.

“I will give the lads credit, they stuck right in near the end, you know they kept hurling away,” agreed Cahill.

“Maybe one or two little chances near the end would have brought it back to three points and going down the home straight, you wouldn’t know what might happen.

“But when you’re clinging to them kind of things against a team of the quality of Clare with their backs up, you don’t usually come out the right side of it. That’s the most disappointing part of it that, for a young, energetic team – when I say young with the exception of one or two players, the rest of our team are early 20s – we were just flat.

“We’re going to all have to look at it from a management perspective and see what caused that today. But definitely it’s a concern.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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