Tipperary Manager Peter Creedon was very matter-of-fact about his sides defeat of Carlow on Sunday last in Dr Cullen Park.
The Cork native who exudes calm on the sidelines was not getting too carried away by the win, or the margin of it.
“It’s two points really-- two points more than we had this time last year, so we are happy enough with that. We worked well today. Carlow were not as good as they were this time last year but things can go against a team like they did for Carlow today,” he said having overseen the warmdown of his players after the game.
Peter was lavish in his praise for the players who he admitted were very focused and while agreeing that the sending off made life very difficult for Carlow, he pointed out that Tipp had to make the most of it, and did. But, it will be a different ball game on Sunday next when Waterford come to Clonmel in the hope of winning their first league points of the campaign - they lost to Clare on Sunday in something of an upset.
“We have Waterford next week now and we have to go again. It’s all about momentum in any of the divisions and if you can get off to a good start, great. The first week is very hard because the two games in one week can make or break a season, especially in the lower divisions. Now we have two points and we are dalighted with that.
“Waterford are a much better team than people give them credit for and that will be a tough one for us. We struggled with them last year because they are physically powerful. We have a few young lads blooding into the scene as well, so we are looking forward to the challenge alright,” Peter said.
While the performance was a very decent one from Tipp, they were still areas which need to be addressed. Giving away the ball easily is still a problem and Peter admitted that the management team was not happy at the interval, despite the 0-12 to 0-4 advantage they held.
“We focued on playing good football and doing the basic skills well. We made plenty of mistakes as well and we were not that happy at half time funnily enough. The workrate was the most pleasing aspect of the performance, we kept going and kept tackling and that was very positive.
“I thought the lads were very focused and keyed in to get as much out of the league as they possibly could. We trained very well in November and December and we knew the lads were well focused. The workrate had been put in on the training pitch and it was only a matter of delivering.
“But, inter county football is tough, really tough and next week will be a totally difference scenario,” said the secondary school principal in St Ailbe’s in Tipperary Town.
Tipperary scored 2-19 from play on the day and conceded only 0-7 . They showed a real willingness to career forward with the ball and though some passes went astray and moves broke down, the players were hungry for possession and tried evrything in their power to win back the ball as quickly as possible.
Defensively, Tipperary were very solid, with Carlow having only one clearcut goal chance, apart from the penalty. And, the use of Donagh Leahy was an extra man in defence acting as a link between defence and attack worked very well. Not only did the half back get two points himself, but he was able to build the platform and provide the runner for overlap time and again. Tipperary defenders actually kicked 0-5 in the match.
Stephen O’Brien came into the side midway through the first half and showed his worth to the footballers. He has pledged his support to the football cause and though he is in the hurling squad at the present time, he will try to divide his time to ensure that both are given an equal shot.
Philip Quirke is expected to be back from injury soon and Peter Creedon is very happy with the squad of players has assembled and with the manner in which training is going.
“Things are going very well at the moment and we roll on now and hope for the best on Sunday against Waterford in Clonmel. We had wanted the game to be in Semple Stadium but the All-Ireland club games are on there, so Clonmel it will be on Sunday,” he said.
The Tipperary Star will bring you all the news and views from that clash in next weeks issue. Don’t miss it.