THE Limerick senior footballers have put their hands up and accepted responsibility for their shock exit from the Munster SFC.
“The players alone take responsibility for that.”
The words of Stephen Lavin as he attempted to explain Limerick’s shock exit from the Munster SFC.
“There is no way I would blame the preparation - the preparation was excellent. We prepared fantastically well - we prepared much better than the Waterford game,” outlined Lavin.
“The 15 players that went out had the responsibility on their shoulders to put in a performance in both halves,” explained Lavin.
“We will have a look at it but I can’t put a finger on it - did we pay the price for being too confident, I don’t know. I didn’t think we were but maybe we were subconsciously.”
Lavin accepted that Clare were the “hungrier” team in the opening half.
“Obviously you don’t go out with that intention, but they definitely had more fight for the ball - were far more hungry for the ball and were much quicker working it out. We were far too slow, lethargic and cumbersome and couldn’t get any pace into our game,” explained the Adare man.
“We just didn’t put it in, in the first half. Could be a lack of honesty and we will all have to have a look and question ourselves and our attitude when we go out and represent Limerick.”
He continued: “We left ourselves too much to do - we were nine points down at half time. The first half killed us - we just weren’t at the races.”
“We were as slow as could be building it out and that contributes to them getting men back and us handpassing around like a bunch of edjits instead of making right decisions - everything depends on building the ball out fast and we didn’t do that in the first half and we did in the second,” said Lavin.
“We have ourselves to blame,” he added.
“Fair dues to Clare, they came out and tore us a sunder - they deserve an awful lot of credit but never, not for a second did we think it was dead - the second half we realised we were in a game. I think that when we went a point up we thought we had it and that might have been our downfall then,” he said.
“The second half showed that there is still a lot of fight in this team and the season is not over by any means,” emphasised Lavin.
Limerick manager Maurice Horan also faced the media and explained the decision not to introduce John Galvin, despite the Croom man being listed among the subs.
“It was the nature of the game – we wanted people going in that could put bodies on the line,” explained Horan.
“We felt if John had gone on and had to come off again it would be a body blow to us. If it was a more open game he would possibly have come in. It was probably a few weeks too soon for John,” said Horan.
The Limerick manager expects his side to bounce back in the All-Ireland Qualifiers, which will take place on July 14.
“Players are intelligent – despite the loss, there is still a lot of brain powers and experience inside in that dressing room,” he said of his panel of players.