Waterford are up and running in the Allianz National Hurling League, as they beat Cork by five points in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. However, a points difference of -19 with just one game to go means that they’re still in deep trouble ahead of the final round of games in terms of relegation.
Speaking after the game, Derek McGrath conceded that they’ll probably end up in the bottom two.
“We spoke about that at half-time. We knew the other results. We said to the players at half-time about the likelihood that we’d be possibly back here (in Páirc Uí Chaoimh). It depends if Cork can beat Tipp…
“I have to say, in terms of cut-throat. I don’t think we’re the worst team in Ireland. We might go down. But I think we’re building towards the summer, like all the other teams.”
Nonetheless, he did note it is a huge positive to break their run of losing three games in a row.
“You don’t want to keep losing. You’d be worried that the habit… There’s only so much you can say that we’re happy and that we’re a united group, and we are. We had a great meeting after the match against Kilkenny last Sunday, it was great to be a part of it. All the boys remarked that we’re eating well, we’re sleeping well, we’re training well, we’re analysing well. Sometimes you need a little more than that.”
Given that the Déise are a young team that lost an All-Ireland final by three points, this League wasn’t going to ever be overly crucial, as they build towards another crack at the summer.
“We’re building towards a game that works better in the summer.
“That’s not just language to defuse a possible relegation battle and how you feel after it. All the teams are very obviously building towards the summer but I think some teams are able to do it a bit better than other teams in terms of personnel they have at their disposal.”
Waterford’s final game is against Clare next week, when they try to turn around their dismal Walsh Park form, where they have lost six consecutive games.