‘We were in the zone,’ says Waterford manager Derek McGrath

Post-match reaction: Waterford v Tipperary

Waterford manager Derek McGrath at Nowlan Park on Sunday. Photo: Inpho/Cathal Noonan

Waterford manager Derek McGrath at Nowlan Park on Sunday. Photo: Inpho/Cathal Noonan

 

Derek McGrath doesn’t really do over the top. His biggest result yet as Waterford manager is parsed in the language of analysis – calm, measured, rational. Process over result, the way the textbooks say it should be.

“At the 67th, 68th minute, I was saying to the lads I was happy. I’m not saying I didn’t want to win, but we were in the zone. It was a nice place to be, to be as competitive as we were, it was lovely. It didn’t really matter about getting the win, it was about going toe to toe with a team like Tipperary.

“I thought we started poorly and we looked a bit stuck to the ground early on. But from the 17th minute on we seemed to get a bit of belief in ourselves, in terms of our communication and so on. Even on the line we struggled a bit dealing with the crowd and so on. There was a championship feel to it and we were saying we’d learn a lot from today.”

For Eamon O’Shea, the maths of the thing were simple enough. It was a game Tipperary lost by a point. Could just as easily have gone the other so there’s no point tearing your hair out over it.

“Everybody plays defensively against Tipperary. So we’re used to it. I wouldn’t put it down to that. We were just lacking a bit of energy today, coming off the back of a week of heavy training. But again, you never know how that’s going to affect you. We said we wanted to win the game – and we didn’t. It’s a fairly straightforward analysis for me.

“Waterford are a really good side. Very skilful. They have a lot of energy, a lot of good players and a really good manager who knows what he’s doing. You just go out to play the game. It’s a really good challenge when you have different formats. It would be terrible if we all played the game the same way. They deserved the game on merit.”

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