LIMERICK manager John Kiely insists there is no talk of a potential Munster SHC final appearance within his senior hurling camp ahead of Sunday's final round group game with Tipperary.
While there are permutations aplenty, All-Ireland champions Limerick are all but guaranteed progress in the championship and can reach a June 30 provincial final against Tipperary or Cork - both such fixtures would be in the LIT Gaelic Grounds.
However, no talk of a first provincial final since 2014 according to John Kiely.
"I don't think about it to be honest - I only think about this phase of the competition that we are in, which is game four of four within the round robin," he stressed at his weekly media briefing this Tuesday.
"Thinking about a Munster final is only a distraction and there is one sure way of not ending up in one and that's to start thinking about it - we will focus on our performance and that's the bottom line," he insisted.
"The permutations of what might be the implications of what might be a certain result - well we know there are nine permutations on Sunday so if you start thinking about those you are taking your eye off the ball. We simply have to focus on the key elements of our own game and get those right and deal with the rest afterwards," explained Kiely.
Both the Munster and Leinster SHC will provide six teams to enter the All-Ireland phase this weekend with final round group games.
"The four games that are on this weekend and everybody has purpose in those four games, which is as you would like it to be. It makes for an exciting Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon and who knows what way the dice will fall at the end of the day. All we can do is control our controllables, which is our performance on Sunday and try maximise that to the very hilt."
He continued: "we knew three weeks ago that we had three major steps to take in order to progress in the competition - we have two of them taken and we have a third one up for grabs on Sunday. I know it's going to be really difficult and a massive challenge but that's what sport is about at this level - taking on those challenges and challenging yourself to be the best on the given day".
Sunday will be the third successive Sunday of action for Limerick and management have realigned training to try maximise performance in Semple Stadium.
"We have given them (players) an extra day to recover after the game last Sunday. Normally we train on a Tuesday but this week we train on a Wednesday and Joe O'Connor is all over that recovery and Joe is an expert at what he does and the boys have great faith in him and will follow whatever he identifies as being the keen points in terms of recovery," said Kiely.
Ahead of Sunday's Limerick v Tipperary game in Thurles, Limerick report no fresh injuries.
"Nothing major after Sunday - a couple of little niggles but nothing a few days rest wouldn't clear up. We have been lucky in that department so far," said Kiely.
However, Barry Murphy looks set for a spell on the sidelines. He sustained a hamstring injury in the final minutes of the win over Waterford, which ruled him out of the win over Clare. Now it appears the injury to the Doon man is worse than feared and he faces into a period of rehab.
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