‘We have to regroup but I know these guys will because they’re full of the right stuff’

LIMERICK MANAGER JOHN Kiely has backed his All-Ireland winning players to revive their Munster campaign after falling to a seven-point loss in their opener this afternoon.

On home soil at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick fans saw their 2019 championship season begin on a low note when they faced Cork.

The league champions have a fortnight off before they head into a hectic schedule with three provincial ties from 2-16 June.

“They know the story – it is what it is, a below par performance and we need to respond to it,” outlined Kiely afterwards.

“We were just that little bit off today, our first touch wasn’t what it normally is, our fluency wasn’t there, and, most importantly, our work-rate wasn’t there.

“We allowed Cork too much time on the ball too much of the time and I think you could see midway through that second half that Cork had the momentum with them and it was going to be very difficult for us to turn it around.

“We tried valiantly, we created a few goal-scoring chances which we didn’t convert and we needed to convert every chance we got today in order to survive. Listen, bottom line – Cork were the better team today and they won the match. They looked like the team that wanted to win more.

“We have to regroup, but I know these guys will because they’re full of the right stuff. I know it’s there.”

Kiely was not interested in pointing to a lull in game time since their league final success in late March against Waterford as a contributory factor to this defeat.

“They went back to their clubs and had their club period for four weeks, we had three and-a-half weeks with them and it went well. We have no complaints, there is no major box that hasn’t been ticked on the way here and we’ve worked very, very hard, but clearly not hard enough.

“Teams will have a dip in their performance, of course they will, we got our dip today and we need to make sure that dip is just a temporary one and act we respond the next day with a really good performance because it will take a really good performance to go down to Walsh Park and get a result.”

Limerick will target a swift response with a trip to Waterford next on the agenda for them.

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“The next chance we have to respond to it is below in Walsh Park in two weeks’ time. I’m more concerned about our own lads and what we didn’t do and what we need to do. We will analyse the game in the next few days and it will be interesting to see where the presser points came from.

“We have to address those and I think the biggest one is the energy levels in the second half weren’t there. Whatever we need to do to make sure when we go down to Walsh Park is done.”

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