HomeFootballDavy Fitzgerald: ‘I don’t blame them or the referee, but we should...

Davy Fitzgerald: ‘I don’t blame them or the referee, but we should have finished that game. I am extremely proud of the lads’

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Nonetheless, he expressed pride in the performance and in how the players coped with the early loss due to a quad injury of full back Conor Prunty

“We should have won that game. We were four points up, with time up. After the goal, I knew it was going to be a draw. Even if they fell over their laces, they were going to get a free. That’s ok.

“I don’t blame them or the referee, but we should have finished that game. I am extremely proud of the lads. They fought very hard, worked very hard.

“We went down in the second half and came back, we battled and got back into it. I am extremely proud of that. This is a different bunch of guys; they are resilient. They’re deflated, they’re disappointed because they know we should have won. But that’s the way it goes.”

He said he had expected a Tipperary backlash after their 15-point drubbing from All-Ireland champions Limerick in the first round.

Citing four cases where Tipperary could have scored goals when the game was still in the balance, he added: “If they got two of three of those goals that wouldn’t have been near that same result last time. They probably felt bad because they got the trouncing they did, but if they got two or three breaks…

“Their work rate today was off the charts, they did some different stuff today that they didn’t do last week, threw a few curve balls at us that took us a small bit to figure out and get. We did a few things that they couldn’t get. It was probably more tactical than you realise out there.”

The result leaves the group wide open though Cork are close to being cut adrift as the only team with no points after two rounds.

Fitzgerald believes Waterford can reach a Munster final if they beat either Limerick or Clare – though both are away from home – in their remaining fixtures.

“If we get another win, we’ll be in a Munster final. We’ll be close enough to it, not far away from it. Could we qualify with three points? We could. Is there a chance we mightn’t if we don’t win another game? There is. There’s a lot of permutations.

“It’s funny. I was listening to Liam Sheedy (former Tipp manager) on Sunday Sport and they were talking about Clare and Limerick qualifying. He was saying, ‘sure it’s a given. Waterford will go to Clare and Clare will definitely win that one’. I was saying, ‘sure we might as well not turn up at all! (laughing) But we will turn up’.

“That’s going to be a big occasion. There will be 20,000 in Cusack Park. The respect I have for their players is massive but we’re going to go up there and give it everything we can.

“The best thing this year compared to last year, no matter what we’re in the last game with something to fight for. We haven’t been beaten in the Munster championship in our last three games so we’re making strides,” added Fitzgerald.

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