Tipperary star Pádraic Maher has admitted that the Premier County need to do more if they want to be involved in the business end of the National Hurling League.
The Thurles Sarsfields clubman insisted that a good performance is on the way and a third successive defeat is not an option. Having been annihilated by Kilkenny in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final by eighteen points, Tipperary fell victim to a rampant Cork side in Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday night.The 0-26 to 1-11 defeat could have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for a late Eoin Kelly goal.
“If you did produce a good performance and were beaten by a point or two, things wouldn’t be as bad but the fact is that we didn’t perform at all.” Maher told The Sun. “It’s the second time in a row that it’s after happening so we want to quash that before it gets into a rhythm.
“It was a big wake-up call for us all really, it just shows the amount of work we have got to do as a team. It’s the end of February, we’re not going to get too upset with it but we do know the bar is raised and we need to get up there. We have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Maher admitted he was shocked by the lethargy of his squad in comparison to Cork and they had no answer to the Rebels.
“We were so far off the pace. Cork were so much better all over the field. We couldn’t get to grips with them whatsoever.They wanted it more than we did, they worked harder and that was there for everyone to see. That’s a shock to us but it’s after giving us a kick up the h**e.”
The troubles continue for Tipperary as they face All-Ireland champions Kilkenny in the next round of National Hurling League fixtures. Maher knows a big performance is essential against the Cats or talks of relegation could begin to rear their head.
“Kilkenny is very important. We have a few tough games coming up, Galway as well in the space of a few weeks. We know we have a lot of hard work ahead of us but we’re looking forward to the challenge. Every game is must-win really at this stage. It’s so competitive.
“We still want to be involved in the business end. We don’t want to be dragged into a relegation battle.”
Tipperary face Kilkenny on March 10th at Semple Stadium, Thurles.