Sheedy feeling confident ahead of Wexford showdown
By John Harrington
Tipperary manager, Liam Sheedy, says he’s confident his team will produce a big performance against Wexford in Sunday’s All-Ireland SHC semi-final.
The Premier County were the form team in the country when they won their first four matches in the Munster SHC but their stock has fallen somewhat since then following a heavy defeat to Limerick in the Munster Final and a lacklustre win over Laois in the All-Ireland SHC Quarter-Final.
Leinster champions Wexford are coming into the match with their tails up, but Sheedy believes his players are primed to meet them head on.
I really feel the lads prepared extremely, extremely well,” Sheedy told Tipp FM. “They've worked really, really hard. They've freshened themselves up as well so we feel we've pushed a bit of energy back in by taking a little bit of a break at the early part after the Laois match.
“Preparation has gone extremely, extremely well and I honestly just can't wait to get out onto the pitch on Sunday.
“Wherever we get to on Sunday evening, I can honestly say these guys could not have given any more for the cause or for Tipperary.
“I'm really, really confident of what they're going to bring to the pitch on Sunday because they have the work done.
“They're going to meet top-class opposition who are in really, really good form. Unbeaten in Championship. But when you get to the last four what else would you expect?
“We're going to play the Leinster Champions and we know that if we're off-colour or bring a top-class performance we will come up short. But, likewise, if we perform to the peaks of our ability we have every chance.”
Wexford are the only unbeaten team left in this year’s Championship and looked really formidable when beating Kilkenny in the Leinster SHC Final.
Tipperary have serious firepower in attack, but will they be able to match Wexford’s controlled aggression in the middle third of the field and win enough clean possession to ensure a steady supply of ball goes in to finishers like Seamus Callanan, Jason Forde, and John McGrath?
Kilkenny never really looked like scoring a goal against Wexford’s well-organised defence in that Leinster Final, and Sheedy knows that Davy Fitzgerald’s team will be a hard nut to crack.
“I suppose ever team has their own pattern of play and their own style and Wexford have a really good style of play and good players to execute it,” he said.
“We're under no illusions about the size of the challenge but we certainly have our analysis done and we're looking forward to it.
“Ultimately, for us, it's about what we're going to bring. We need to impose our game out in Croke Park and that's something you can only do if you can get to the highs. There's a huge energy about this Wexford team, we're well aware of that, but, as I said, we're really looking forward to getting back (to Croke Park).
“This is a formidable Wexford outfit, a really, really good, well-disciplined team that bring a lot. They only had three wides in the Leinster Final against a really strong Kilkenny team who have gone and turned over Cork since.
“The stakes are high, the bar is raised, but that is exactly what we signed up for and what we're looking forward to. These are the games you want to be playing in and you're always going to have to face off against top-class opposition.
“Likewise, we know from this Munster Championship that when we play to the level we can be a match for anybody. It's about finding that level on Sunday.”