David Power: 'It is only the start of a journey'
By Cian O'Connell
Tipperary manager David Power acknowledged the importance of being clinical at Croke Park following Sunday's All Ireland SFC semi-final defeat against Mayo.
The blue and gold outfit squandered several goalscoring opportunities during an open encounter at GAA headquarters.
"The two big things we learned here today, one you have to finish your chances," Power reflected in the Hogan Stand following the game.
"We'd two serious goal chances first couple of minutes, had we got them it's probably a different game. But also we turned over way too much ball in the first half. 3-6 came from our turnovers.
"They're the two big things but we have to set a goal now. That's what I said to the players today. This can't be just a once off.
"We need now to be heading to Division Two next year, that has to be a target. We need to be playing against those teams.
"For us I thought we kept playing the right way. We set a target to win the second half and we did win the second half. There was a couple of positives but it's a huge learning curve for us there as well."
The fact that Tipperary conceded some soft goals was another factor according to Power.
"Absolutely," the Tipperary boss replied. "You can't gift good teams those kind of chances. I always felt we had to take the chances. We scored 3-13, I'd say we could have left another five, six goals behind us.
"That's the thing, we played really, really good football but we have to learn. Today's a big learning curve for us, but for us to where we were at the start of the year, it has been an incredible journey."
Having leaked four opening period goals, Power stressed the importance of delivering an improved second half display.
"I suppose we went in at half-time, it wasn't a case of shouting and roaring at them," Power remarked. "We didn't want to leave, we won the Munster final two weeks ago and we didn't want that type of performance to define our season. "To be fair we set a target to win the second half, no matter what it is and that's what they did. To be fair to the players, I'm very, very proud of them.
"It's only the start of a journey. I wasn't expecting this to be honest to get to an All-Ireland semi-final this year. This is the start we must build on this."
After the match the Tipperary players and management went to the Hill 16 End of Croke Park as a mark of respect on the 100 year anniversary of Bloody Sunday.
"That was a thing I spoke with the County Board, we only told the players during the week," Power stated.
"We didn't make a big deal out of it because again we just wanted to concentrate on the game.
"Again the players have been fantastic, I want to thank the GAA. It was great to have the 41 players there today for them. They have trained so hard over the last two months.
"The last six, seven weeks has been a great journey for Tipperary football. The big thing for Tipp football is we have a habit of going back, we need to go forward now."